ATP Staff | Monday, October 5, 2015
Czech beats rain and Garcia-Lopez
Top seed Tomas Berdych captured his 11th ATP World Tour title on Monday as he prevailed 6-3, 7-6(7) over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in a rain-delayed Shenzhen Open final.
Having only completed the semi-finals on Sunday due to heavy rain throughout the weekend in Shenzhen, the final was put back to Monday and endured one rain interruption before Berdych finally clinched victory in one hour and 48 minutes.
"The last three days were tough, especially mentally to keep being very focused," said Berdych. "I was the one who dealed with that the best. I'm proud of myself to make it happen, because these conditions were not easy at all."
Victory marks the Czech’s first ATP World Tour title of the season and sees him further cement his place at fifth in the Emirates ATP Race To London. Berdych is next in line to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, where he would join Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka on his sixth straight appearance at the season finale in London.
Playing Garcia-Lopez for the seventh time, Berdych was almost extended to three sets. The match was delayed for 45 minutes due to rain with the Czech leading 5-2 in the first set. Berdych returned to close out the opener, but immediately went 1-3 down in the second set.
Garcia-Lopez relinquished his lead, but had the chance to take the match to a decider when he led 6-5 in the tie-break. Berdych saved the set point, though, before converting his second match point with a driven forehand return. He improved to a 4-3 mark in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
"It was another challenge to finally get the trophy," said Berdych. "It was a very close match today. I'm really happy with the way I started. I was very focused and very sharp from the beginning.
"Then I lost my serve. He played a couple of good, crazy shots to get his break. But I managed to break him back and get the second set into a tie-break. The tie-break was really up and down, but I think my experience was the decider for today. I'm very happy to win like that."
The 30-year-old Berdych has a 48-16 match record on the season, having also reached the finals in Doha (l. to Ferrer), Rotterdam (l. to Wawrinka) and Monte-Carlo (l. to Djokovic). The right-hander now goes to the China Open in Beijing, where he opens his campaign as the second seed against Pablo Cuevas. He could play Garcia-Lopez again in the second round. The Spaniard faces Ivo Karlovic first.
Garcia-Lopez dropped to a 5-4 finals record on the ATP World Tour. The 32-year-old Spaniard was chasing his third title of the season, following victories in Zagreb (d. Seppi) and Bucharest (d. Vesely).