|Posted on January 7, 2011 at 1:11 PM|
Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic on Wednesday set up a quarter-final clash with top seed Tomas Berdych at the Chennai Open after putting paid to the aspirations of American Robert Kendrick with a clinical 6-2 6-2 win.
Kavcic, who upset fifth seed Jeremy Chardy of France in his first round match yesterday, converted four of the five break points as Kendrick had little else to show but for a booming forehand.
Kendrick failed to exploit Kavcic's weak backhand -- his raquet clattered against the court whenever the Slovenian attempted a backhand clearance -- but Berdych might not be so kind in their meeting in the next tie ;-)
Order of Play - Friday, January 7, 2011
STADIUM Matches Start At 5:00 pm
Tomas BERDYCH (CZE) vs Blaz KAVCIC (SLO)
Mahesh BHUPATHI (IND)/Leander PAES (IND) vs Philipp MARX (GER)/Ken SKUPSKI (GBR)
Janko TIPSAREVIC (SRB) vs Kei NISHIKORI (JPN)
Stanislas WAWRINKA (SUI) or David GOFFIN (BEL) vs Robin HAASE (NED)
(1) Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs Blaz Kavcic (SLO) First Meeting
F: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Roddick); Wimbledon (l Nadal); SF: Brisbane (l Roddick); Roland Garros (l Soderling); QF: San Jose (l Roddick); Memphis (l Gulbis); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Nadal); Munich (l Petzschner); Washington (l Malisse); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada (l Federer); Kuala Lumpur (l Ferrer)
YTD W-L: 2-0
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 5
Date of Birth: September 17, 1985
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 6
- Berdych, 25, is playing here for the first time this week and the No. 1 seed has defeated Gil 60 61 in 1st Rd. (45 minutes) and Dodig 62 64 in 2nd Rd.
- Had first Top 10 season in 2010, highlighted by first Grand Slam SF at Roland Garros (l. to Soderling) then first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon (l. to Nadal); only player in year-end Top 10 not to win a title during season, also accumulated most of ranking points in first half of season (38-13 coming out of Wimbledon, 7-13 after that)
YTD W-L: 2-0
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: March 5, 1987
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 112
- Kavcic, 23, is making his first appearance at this event and thus far defeated No. 5 seed Jeremy Chardy 63 62 in 1st Rd. and American Robert Kendrick 62 62 in 2nd Rd. to reach his first career ATP World Tour quarter-final
- Last season the top Slovenian on the ATP World Tour compiled a 6-8 match record, qualifying at the Australian Open (l. to Odesnik) and winning a round at Roland Garros (d. Schwank, l. to No. 8 Roddick in four sets)...Also lost in 1st Rd. at Wimbledon (l. to Kubot)
- Finished a year-end best No. 112 after reaching a career-high No. 96 on March 22
- His best results came in Challengers as he won three titles -- Karshi (d. Venus) in August, Rijeka (d. Ramirez Hidalgo) and in his hometown of Ljubljana (d. Goffin) in September
I must be honest... not the match of his life but a win is a win
*new season, new sensation, Tomas must find his rythm again*
January 07, 2011
Berdych benefits from Kavcic's benevolence, in semis
One act of kindness deserves another.
Tomas Berdych's 6-3, 6-3 quarter-final win over Blaz Kavcic at the Chennai Open on Friday is a testimony to the above adage.
Don't be foxed by the scoreline. For the match was anything but a straightforward win for the top seed.
On another day, and against a better opponent, Berdych would definitely have finished second best after such a vapid display that considerably undermined his status as the tournament's top seed.
However on Friday, despite his shoddy effort, Berdych was the beneficiary of Kavcic's act of benevolence. On the positive side though the win helped the Czech remain on course to win his first tour title in 20 months, having last won in May 2009 at Munich.
If Berdych was unimpressive in his second round win over Ivan Dodig of Croatia, he was worse on Friday. In fact his performance in the second round was marginally better.
The top seed, struggled with his serve for most parts of the match (dropping it twice), but still managed to take advantage of an opponent who had tremendous problems of his own.
The match per se, had an uneventful opening set and an error-stewn second, one that witnessed as many as six breaks of serve. And, the player who was more generous than the other (Kavcic) had to reschedule and bring forward his flight ticket.
One break of serve -- in the fourth game of the opening set -- was enough for the top seed to pocket the set. Kavcic helped his opponent considerably in securing that advantage by serving as many as four double faults in that particular game.
The Slovenian had a chance to get the break back in the ninth game -- when he was up 40-15 on Berdych's serve. However, he let the Czech claw his way back into the game and thereby pocket the set.
The second set was an error-prone affair with as many as five breaks of serve in the first seven games, both players getting ample scope to show their human side (read generosity).
Berdych carried forward the momentum into the second set, breaking Kavcic in the opening game. The Slovenian returned the favour in the fourth game, forcing the top seed to drop serve for the first time in the match.
The duo traded breaks in the subsequent two games and the Slovenian for once seemed to have the upper hand.
However, instead of building on that regained advantage, Kavcic let Berdych come right back into the set, dropping his service for the third time in the set in the seventh game.
The Slovenian had a chance to break the Czech in the eighth game as well. However, he failed to take it.
And that was the leeway Berdych required, breaking his opponent for a fourth time (in the set) in the next to seal the match in his favour.
The win, which looks fairly comprehensive if one looks at the scoreline, was in reality some good fortune for Berdych.
The Czech might have escaped maximum penalty for his vapid display on Friday thanks largely to an opponent who responded to his act of kindness with an even bigger act.
However, he needs to get his act back together in the semi-final. For his likely opponent on Saturday, Stanislas Wawrinka -- he is the favourite to win against Robin Haase -- could well take advantage of the Czech's frailties.
For the record, Wawrinka beat Berdych the last occasion they played -- in Rome last year. It is entirely up to the Czech to either improve his overall record against the Swiss to 5-3 or help the latter get back to level terms.
ATP Homepage as of Friday, January 7, 2011
by ATP Staff | 07.01.2011
Berdych Dismisses Kavcic To Reach SFs
World No. 6 Tomas Berdych continued his smooth progress on his debut at the Aircel Chennai Open, reaching the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament on Friday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Blaz Kavcic.
The Czech top seed capitalised on four double faults from World No. 122 Kavcic in the fourth game and later rallied from 15/40 on serve in the ninth game to close out a one-set lead. Both players struggled on serve in the second set and four service breaks were exchanged before Berdych broke decisively in the seventh and ninth games to clinch victory in 84 minutes.
"In the beginning I was a little surprised how he was playing because I had never played him before so it was a little bit tough to know what to expect," confessed Berdych. "Still, I started pretty solid, but then some mistakes crept into my game at the beginning of the second set. Maybe I was forcing my shots a little too much, especially from the side playing with the wind. I needed to be a little bit more patient.
"But on the positive side, I'm happy I could break him back when he broke my serve and hold out to finish the match in straight sets. For my next match, I think I will need to maintain my concentration and keep the pressure on my opponent."
The 25-year-old Berdych reached his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon (l. to Nadal) last July, but lost his way somewhat in the second half of the season, only recording a 7-13 match record. In his first semi-final in five months, he will face either third seed Stanislas Wawrinka or eighth seed Robin Haase.
Berdych rolls into Chenai semifinals
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Berdych battles past gritty Kavcic
After two easy wins, top seed Tomas Berdych was given a long work out by Blaz Kavcic during his hard-fought singles quarterfinal win at the Chennai Open here on Friday.
Having dropped just seven games in his previous two matches, the Czech had to slug it out during his 6-3, 6-3 win that lasted close to an hour and a half. Little did, however, Berdych realise the impending challenge when he built a 5-2 lead in the first set with a break of Slovakian's serve, thanks to four double faults, in the fourth game. Serving for the set at 5-3, Berdych met with great resistance from Kavcic who had two break points, but two forehand errors denied him the chance of a comeback.
The task, however, was just beginning to get tougher for Berdych, whose 2-1 lead was cancelled out in the fourth game. The two then traded breaks before Berdych held his serve in the eighth game and then broke his rival to clinch the set. "Some mistakes crept into my game at the beginning of the second set. Maybe I was forcing my shots a little too much, especially from the side playing with the wind. I needed to be a little bit more patient," pointed out Berdych later.
Berdych, in his last-four clash, will meet the winner of the match between third-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka and Netherlands' Robin Haase, whose match was stopped due to rain late on Friday night. Wawrinka was involved in a lengthy pre-quarterfinal tussle with qualifier David Goffin of Belgium in a late night match on Thursday before emerging a 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3) victor.
Seventh-seeded Xavier Malisse, however, had a smooth entry into the semifinals, beating Bjorn Phau of Germany in straight sets 6-0, 6-2 in an outside court. The Belgian will take on Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia who ended Japanese youngster Kei Nishikori's dream run with a 6-4, 6-4 win in an hour and 42 minutes.
The sixth seed was happy to have come out in straight sets. "I knew that he had run a lot in his previous two matches so I was happy to get off to a good start and to finish the match in two sets. If it had gone to three sets, even if I had won, I would have been so much more tired for my match tomorrow. Now hopefully I'll be fresh enough to win my next match," he reasoned.
Tomas during a break in play against Slovakia's Blaz Kavcic
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Berdych powers through to semis
The first singles quarterfinal of Friday produced a tough fight on Centre Court.
By Vineeth Krishnan
With his opponent making way too many unforced errors in the match, top seed Tomas Berdych managed to power through to the semifinals of the Chennai Open with a straight sets win on Friday.
The Czech star beat Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-3 6-3 in 1 hour and 25 minutes in the first match of the evening on Centre Court. Gusty conditions in Chennai had a lot of impact on the way first set went as Kavcic found it difficult to adjust his boll toss in accordance with the wind. The 23-year-old double faulted a total of 9 times in the match, including thrice in the third game of the first set.
Having netted his first serve of that game, Kavcic's ball toss on the second serve was swept way wider than he expected and the result was that the ball scraped the bottom of the net. He double faulted on the second point as well and turned around in dismay, gesturing to his coach that there was nothing he could do.
He managed to get a point to take the score to 15-30 and then netted a half-volley to give the world No.6 star two break points. Yet another double fault sealed the decisive break. Kavcic did have a shot at getting back into the set, but was unable to convert two break chances with the score at 5-3.
Berdych was serving for the set but Kavcic, known for his defensive qualities, came up with two backhand blocked returns to force Berdych to hit a forehand long for 0-15. A good forehand crosscourt on the next point saw Berdych hit the return into the net for 0-30. He then sent a backhand slice long after a good rally to bring the game score to 15-40.
But just when he looked like getting back into the game, Kavcic threw it away with three straight errors that gave Berdych set point. A big serve followed by a cracking forehand, set up an easy volley for the Czech star to pocket the set.
Kavcic had been committing far too many unforced errors going for the big shots and decided to tune down and play his natural defensive game in the second. The result was that things were a whole lot closer in the set, with the world No.112 managing to twice break Berdych's serve.
But unfortunately for him, his own serve continued to suffer. Despite regularly clocking in the high 120 mph bracket with his first serves, his inability to get that big serve in play most of the time cost the youngster. Once his first serve went missing, the fact that he could win only 5 out of 22 second serve points in the match meant he struggled to hold serve.
Kavcic lost his serve in the very first game of the set. He netted a backhand to go down 0-15 and a good volley at the net by Berdych took the score to 0-30. Despite reeling off three points in a row, he hit a forehand long at the end of a long rally to bring the game to Deuce. A forehand down the line by Berdych on the second serve brought up Advantage and a cracking forehand crosscourt winner gave him the break.
But if the 25-year-old Czech ace thought the match was over with that break, he was wrong. Kavcic fought back in the fourth game of the set to level things at 2-2. Relying more on his opponent to make a mistake than going for the winner himself, Kavcic proved to be as hard to get away as a leech, getting ball after ball back in play.
A fan of Rafael Nadal, Kavcic certainly defended like the Spaniard, but lacked the attacking instinct to put opportunities away. Straight after breaking back, he lost serve in the fifth game. This came in the middle of a spell of 4 games when both players traded breaks and finally with the score at 3-4, Berdych managed to break the shackles and hold serve for 3-5.
Serving to stay in the match, Kavcic lost serve for the fourth time in the set and fifth overall. Double faults were again his undoing, starting the game with his eighth of the match. A good return from Berdych forced the Slovenian to net a backhand block for 0-30. A second serve on the next point was met with a strong forehand by Berdych and forced the error for three match points.
A double fault on the vital point handed the top seed the game, set and match, allowing him to take his spot in the semifinals where he will be up against third seed Stanislas Wawrinka or eighth seed Robin Haase. After the match, Berdych said he expected a tough fight and got it against Kavcic.
"He is a good defensive player, always able to return the ball from impossible positions. He made me fight for every point and in the end I am glad to have come out on top. The crowd has been fantastic the whole week and I really look forward to playing in front of them again tomorrow," said Berdych.
Autograph session at the end of his quarter-final match