|Posted on September 30, 2016 at 6:35 PM|
Tomas Berdych hits a return against Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic during their singles quarter-final match at Shenzhen Open ATP tennis tournament in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province on Friday, September 30, 2016. Berdych won 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2.
Top seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic overcame his countryman and eighth seed Jiri Vesely 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2 at the Shenzhen Open Friday, bouncing back from a second-set loss to secure a spot in the semi-finals.
Berdych Sets Bellucci Shenzhen SF Clash
ATP Staff | Friday, September 30, 2016
Czech makes up ground in Race To London
Tomas Berdych began to close the gap on Rafael Nadal in the Emirates ATP Race To London on Friday as he defeated Jiri Vesely 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2 in the Shenzhen Open quarter-finals.
The Czech is now 490 points behind eighth-placed Nadal in the year-to-date standings, with the Top 8 at the end of the regular season qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Berdych will look to make up yet more ground on the Spaniard when he faces Thomaz Bellucci in the semi-finals of this ATP World Tour 250 tournament. Berdych has a 3-1 record over Bellucci in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
The last match Berdych played against the No. 52-ranked Vesely was an epic in the fourth round at Wimbledon, and he was made to work hard once again by his younger countryman.
After losing his serve in the opening game of the match, Berdych hit back to steal the opener in a tie-break. Vesely drew level in the contest with a service break in the fourth game of the second set, but it was Berdych who took command of the decider, breaking three times after initially dropping his serve to seal victory in two hours and six minutes.
“You don't play at your best level in every match," said Berdych. "I also played a very tough match this year against Jiri at Wimbledon, which went to five sets. But I’m happy with the way I played today. It’s good to be on court, to be playing some matches. I’m having a good time.
"I’m going to try to take all the positives I can from tonight’s match to get ready for tomorrow. Bellucci's playing great tennis this week. I’m going to go out there and take my game to him, and try not to give him too many easy balls."
Berdych is bidding to reach his first ATP World Tour final of the season after semi-final showings in Doha, Marseille, Wimbledon and St. Petersburg. The Czech is the defending champion in Shenzhen, after beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in last year’s final.
World No. 81 Bellucci earned his semi-final spot with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over fourth seed Bernard Tomic. The Brazilian fired 14 aces and converted four of his seven break points as he cruised through in 61 minutes.
Bellucci is looking to reach his second final of the season, having finished runner-up in Quito in February (l. to Estrella Burgos).
Tomas Berdych waves to fans after the singles quarter-final match against Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic at Shenzhen Open ATP tennis tournament in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province on Friday, September 30, 2016. Berdych won 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2.