|Posted on May 1, 2014 at 4:35 PM|
Tomas Berdych is in action for the first time since losing in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters
A late addition to the men's draw in Oeiras, Berdych is using the tournament to continue his preparations on clay ahead of the French Open in Paris.
"When I got the last-minute call, it was a great opportunity to come play some more matches and get back into the clay rhythm. I want to be ready for the big events which are coming," he said.
H2H Tomas Berdych vs Somdev Devvarman
Berdych makes Portugal return after nine years
Oeiras: Tomas Berdych returns to the Portugal Open for the first time since 2005, taking over as men`s top seed at the ATP-WTA claycourt event from holder Stanislas Wawrinka as the tournament gets underway on Monday.
Wawrinka, who added the Monte Carlo Masters title last week to his Australian Open trophy, withdrew and is next due to play in Madrid in a week. Wawrinka cited fatigue for his pullout.
Berdych, who will play as a wild card entry, tweeted his pleasure at making a return to the event where he played his one and only main draw match nine years ago.
The sixth-ranked Czech can use the week outside the capital of Lisbon as valuable clay training after winning one round in Monte Carlo and then going out in the third round to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Canadian Milos Raonic will take the second seeding with the newest member of the ATP top 10 looking for improvement after the number nine lost last week to Wawrinka in the principality.
Raonic played the event in 2011, losing a semi-final to Fernando Verdasco as the Canadian retired with a back problem.
The top four men`s seeds get byes, with Berdych starting against the winner from Somdev Devverman and Australian Matthew Ebden.
Order of Play - Thursday, May 1, 2014
PORTUGAL OPEN 2014
Berdych Reaches Quarters
by ATP Staff | 01.05.2014
World No. 7 Tomas Berdych beat Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 6-2 to begin his Portugal Open campaign on Thursday in Oeiras. The Czech top seed broke serve three times from five opportunities to claim victory in 76 minutes, recording his 22nd tour-level win of the season.
“I took my chances very well, even though I was a bit down, especially on my serve,” said Berdych. “There's a lot of space to improve. [In the quarter-finals] I need to go out there very focused and play my best tennis.”
The 28-year-old Berdych is making his first appearance since 2005 at this ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament. The right-hander is looking to win his second title of the season, following victory on hard court in Rotterdam (d. Cilic).
Ace Tomas Berdych
gif File Size: 280 x 157 - 1.40 Mo
Physio Sergio Ferraz and Tomas girlfriend Ester
gif File Size: 300 x 168 - 1.87 Mo
"It was a solid start but we are still in the early stages of the tournament. This was just my first step and I need to keep going. I want to focus on hitting the ball as cleanly as possible."
Berdych will next play the winner of the match between
Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubevand Leonardo Mayer of Argentina for a place in the semi-finals.