|Posted on October 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM|
Top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and third-seeded Tomas Berdych will square off in Saturday's semifinals at the $2.1 million China Open tennis event.
The former Australian Open runner-up Tsonga handled former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-4, while the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Berdych blitzed Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-0 in a brisk 65-minute affair in Friday's quarterfinal action. The flashy French Tsonga is now 3-1 lifetime against the former French Open champion from Spain Ferrero, while the world No. 10 Czech Berdych improved to 8-4 against the former top-10 performer Verdasco
Tsonga and Berdych will meet for the first time on the ATP World Tour on Saturday at the National Tennis Centre.
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H2H Tomas Berdych vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Order of Play – Saturday, October 8, 2011
NATIONAL TENNIS STADIUM - Starting At: 1:00 pm
Ivan LJUBICIC (CRO) vs Marin CILIC (CRO)
Not Before 3:00 PM
Monica NICULESCU (ROU) vs Andrea PETKOVIC (GER)
Flavia PENNETTA (ITA) vs Agnieszka RADWANSKA (POL)
Not Before 7:30 PM
Jo-Wilfried TSONGA (FRA) vs Tomas BERDYCH (CZE)
followed by WTA - Doubles Final
Kveta PESCHKE (CZE)/Katarina SREBOTNIK (SLO) vs Gisela DULKO (ARG)/Flavia PENNETTA (ITA)
BEIJING SATURDAY PREVIEW – TOP 10 TSONGA & BERDYCH SQUARE OFF
The second semi-final pits No. 1 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France against No. 3 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. Curiously this is only the first time these two have met in an ATP World Tour-level match, their only previous meeting coming at a Challenger event in 2004 (which Berdych won in three sets). Neither man has lost a set this week and they are also the tournament leaders for service games won (Tsonga has won 30 of 32, Berdych has won 24 of 26).
Both are also very hungry for a good result here, given they are among the leading contenders for one of the four remaining spots in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. But Berdych might have extra motivation - he hasn’t been to the finals of an ATP World Tour event in 15 months (his last one was Wimbledon last summer). Tsonga enters with a seven-match winning streak after his Metz title on Sept. 25.
“London is really too far ahead. I want to be ready for my semi-final and that’s it,” Berdych said. “I’m not thinking about any other points or anything or qualifying for London.” Tsonga and Berdych are having their career-best runs in Beijing - Tsonga fell in the second round in both of his previous appearances, and Berdych fell first round in both previous appearances.
SF: Chennai (l Wawrinka); Dubai (l Djokovic); Nice (l Almagro); Halle (l Petzschner); Bastad (l Soderling); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l Djokovic); QF: Australian Open (l Djokovic); Rotterdam (W/O vs Tsonga); Marseille (l Cilic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Bellucci); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Gasquet); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal (l Tipsarevic)
YTD W-L: 45-18 (29-10 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 5
Date of Birth: September 17, 1985
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 10
• Berdych, 26, the top player from the Czech Republic, is making his seventh ATP World Tour semi-final showing of the season (0-6) and looking to reach his first final … He and No. 9 Gael Monfils are the only players in Top 10 yet to win an ATP World Tour title this year
• He is playing in Beijing for the second year in a row and has not dropped a set thus far in wins over Jurgen Melzer 75 75, Philipp Kohlschreiber 62 60 and Fernando Verdasco 61 60…Lost in 1st Rd. last year…Has held serve 24 of 26 games (92%) and and leads in return games won (14 of 25, 56%)
• Has a 22-57 career mark vs. Top 10 opponents (2-6 this year)
• Has a 45-18 match record (29-10 on hard) this season…Of his six previous semi-finals, three have come on hard courts – Chennai in January, Dubai in late February and ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati in August…Has a 5-6 career mark in finals and his last final came at Wimbledon last year…His last ATP World Tour title came in Munich in May 2009
• He opened the year with a semi-final in Chennai (l. to Wawrinka) and followed with quarter-final efforts at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic), Rotterdam (W/O vs. Tsonga) and Marseille in February (l. to Cilic)…Also a semi-finalist in Dubai (l. to Djokovic)
• At Roland Garros lost in 1st Rd. to Stephane Robert (9-7 in fifth set), his only early exit in 19 events this year…Also 4th Rd. at Wimbledon (l. to Fish) and 3rd Rd. at US Open (ret. vs. Tipsarevic)
W: Metz (d Ljubicic); F: Rotterdam (l Soderling); London / Queen's Club (l Murray); SF: Doha (l Federer); Wimbledon (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal (l Djokovic); QF: Marseille (l Youzhny); US Open (l Federer)
YTD W-L: 44-18 (27-9 on hard)
YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: April 17, 1985
South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking: 7
• Tsonga, 26, the top Frenchman on the ATP World Tour, is appearing in his seventh semi-final of the season, his first in Beijing (5-2 mark)…He lost in the second round here in 2004 and ’07…He made his ATP World Tour debut here in ’04, defeating No. 6 Carlos Moya in the first round (l. to Lee)
• This week has held serve 30 of 32 games (94%) and looking for his eighth Top 10 win of the year (7-9 record) and 23rd of his career (22-28 mark)
• In his last tournament on Sept. 25, captured sixth career ATP World Tour title in Metz (d. Ljubicic) in his third final of the season…He’s trying to reach his 10th career ATP World Tour level final (6-3 mark)
• He enters with a 44-18 match record, 27-9 on hard…He moved back into the Top 10 on Sept. 12 after reaching the quarter-finals at the US Open (l. to Federer)
• He’s trying to secure one of the remaining four spots in the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London…Stands No. 7 coming into this week
• His other season-best results are a pair of runner-up showings in Rotterdam on Feb. 13 (l. No. 4 Soderling) and at the Queen’s Club in London (l. to Murray) in June
• In July at Wimbledon he advanced to the semi-finals (d. No. 6 Ferrer, No. 3 Federer in SF from 0-2 sets down, l. to Djokovic)…In next outing at ATP Masters 1000 Montreal, reached semi-finals (l. to Djokovic)
• Played in Davis Cup semi-final Sept. 16-18 vs. Spain and lost to Nadal in fourth rubber (won doubles)
• He began the year with a semi-final in Doha (l. to No. 2 Federer) and followed with a third round at the Australian Open (l. to Dolgopolov in five sets)
• Then in Rotterdam, he defeated Dimitrov, Llodra, walkover vs. No. 7 Berdych, and No. 15 Ljubicic before falling to Soderling…Followed with quarter-final in Marseille (l. to Youzhny)
Berdych stuns Tsonga
Tomas Berdych returns a shot to Jo-Wilfreid Tsonga of France during the men's semifinal of China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 8, 2011 in Beijing, China.
Berdych to face Cilic in Beijing final
ATP NEWS - 8 October 2011
Tomas Berdych boosted his chances of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, defeating fellow London contender Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the semi-finals of the China Open in Beijing Saturday. He’ll look to win his first title in over two years when he takes on Marin Cilic in Sunday’s final.
The Czech, seeded third, converted a late break of serve in the opening set and seemed to be in command of the match, showing no signs of trouble on his serve. Up 6-4, 4-3, Berdych had an opportunity to close the door on Tsonga with a break point but was unable to convert and Tsonga took full advantage. The top seed broke Berdych for the first time in the following game and after a tense service game, evened the match at one set all.
Despite the stunning turnaround, Berdych kept his cool. He broke Tsonga in the fourth game of the third set and never looked back, claiming their first ATP World Tour meeting in two hours and seven minutes. "The most difficult part, I would say that was the end of second set. I think I was in pretty good chance," said Berdych. "I had a break point to break his serve. I made a close shot to the baseline; unfortunately it was out. The linesman called it good. With the call of the linesman it would be break for me and then I would be serving to the end of the match. But with the option of the Hawk Eye, just the ball was slightly out.
"I would say my concentration [was] not that sharp for the rest of the game. Then I lost the game, lost the set. That was quite a tough moment for me... but the other hand, I started really well in the third set and then break him twice and won 6 1, which I'm really happy for it."
Berdych advances to his first final of the season after losing in the semi-final stage six times this year. He is looking to win his first title since triumphing in Munich in 2009. Should Berdych win Sunday, the World No. 10 will overtake Tsonga for the seventh position in the 2011 South African Airways ATP Year-To-Date Rankings. "This match [tomorrow] could really change my season from good season to really good season," Berdych declared. "So that's just the one thing I'm looking forward for tomorrow. That's it.
Tomas during his semi-final match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Third-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic beat top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets Saturday to clinch a berth in the China Open finals.
ATP Homepage of Saturday, October 8, 2011
Berdych to face Cilic inBeijing tennis final
Sportinglife | 8 oct 2011
Tomas Berdych battled past top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to set up a final showdown with Marin Cilic at the China Open.
Czech third seed Berdych, a runner-up at Wimbledon last year, was formidable on his serve and offered up just one break point in the entire match.
Frenchman Tsonga took full advantage of that to pinch the second set, but Berdych dominated the decider to complete a 6-4 4-6 6-1 victory.
After six semi-final defeats this year, Berdych has finally won a last-four encounter and will tomorrow attempt to secure his first ATP title since triumphing in Munich in May 2009.
Standing in the way of the world number 10 will be Cilic, who beat Berdych on clay in Marseille earlier in the year.
The Croatian beat his countryman and doubles partner Ivan Ljubicic today, posting a 6-4 6-3 win several hours before Tsonga and Berdych took to the court in Beijing.
Cilic climbed as high as ninth in the world last year but currently stands at 25th, although that represents a significant recent improvement.
Like Berdych, Cilic has not won a title in 2011, but unlike his opponent tomorrow he has been to two finals, losing out in Marseille and Umag.
He also has experience of a Beijing final, having been beaten to the trophy by Novak Djokovic two years ago.
Tomas Berdych waves to spectators after defeating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their singles semifinal match of the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011.