Berdych claims first ATP title in Palermo
Oct. 3, 2004 - Czech Tomas Berdych won his first-ever ATP Tour singles title Sunday as he defeated Italian crowd favorite Filippo Volandri in straight sets at the $461,670 clay-court Palermo International tennis event.
Tomas Berdych admitted it was an "unbelievable feeling" to have won his first ATP title after he saw off Filippo Volandri in the Campionati Internazionali Di Sicilia on Sunday.
Berdych became only the second teenager and first Czech to win an ATP title this year when he wrapped up a 56-minute 6-3 6-3 victory in the last clay-court match of the season.
The 19-year-old eighth seed dominated the final, serving six aces and never facing a breakpoint during the match.
Having never previously gone beyond the last eight in an ATP tournament, the Olympic quarter-finalist was clearly delighted with his performance.
"It's an unbelievable feeling to win my first ATP title," he beamed.
"I have won other tournaments before, like challengers, but everything is bigger and more important at the ATP level. I will fly home tonight and will take the next couple of days off so I can celebrate with family and friends.
"The key in the final was my serve. I had to serve well not to get into too many rallies with Volandri who is better than me from the back of the court.
"I was calm before the match, I never really have problem with nervousness before a big match."
Fifth seed Volandri, who was hoping to become the first Italian winner in Palermo since Francesco Cancellotti in 1984 said: "It hurts to lose in the final, especially in Italy because we don't have too many tournaments. But it was still a good week.
"I reached another final and I will have my best ranking next week. My goal this year was to match the 2003 season but I have actually done better than that. I will continue to work hard to reach my goal of entering the top 20.
"Berdych is the kind of player that doesn't give me too much rhythm and I don't like that. On top of it, he played perfect tennis today so there was not much I could do."