Berdych Miracle Tiebreak Comeback Wins ATP Munich Title
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Fourth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych won his fifth ATP World Tour title and his second on clay after battling to a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5) win over Russian Mikhail Youzhny on Sunday at the BWM Open by FWU AG, an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Munich.
With the victory, Berdych earned 250 South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking points and Euros 71,700. He also received two business class tickets to South Africa from South African Airways and a white BMW Z4 Roadster.
Both players had entered Sunday's match with a 4-4 record in ATP World Tour finals and Youzhny with a 5-3 edge in the head-to-head series, but Berdych struck first on Sunday, assuming the set lead when Youzhny double-faulted on set point for the Czech. Youzhny recovered in the second set as he rolled out to a 4-1 lead and, after relinquishing one break of serve, saved two break point opportunities in the 10th game to push the match to a decisive set.
Berdych earned three chances to close out the match at 6-5 on Youzhny's serve in the third set, but could not capitalise. Youzhny then took a 5-1 lead in the tie-break before Berdych countered, winning six straight points to close out the match in two hours and 34 minutes.
It marked Berdych's fourth straight three-sets win this week, including his third in a third-set tie-break (8-2 in tie-breaks this season). He had also edged past German Andreas Beck in the second round and former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the quarter-finals, each time rallying from a set deficit. He became the first Czech winner in Munich since Jiri Novak won in 2001 (d. Dupuis).
The 23-year-old Berdych was making his first appearance in an ATP World Tour final since clinching the hard-court title in Tokyo last October (d. del Potro). He improved to a 2-2 record in clay-court finals; he won his maiden ATP World Tour title in 2004 at Palermo (d. Volandri) and finished runner-up in Bastad in 2005 (l. to Nadal) and '08 (l. to Robredo).
Prior to this week, Berdych's best result this season had been a fourth-round showing at the Australian Open (l. to Federer) and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l. to Djokovic). The former Top 10 player (career-high No. 9 on Aug. 20, 2007), who entered his second Munich appearance ranked No. 28, improved to a 14-10 season match record (7-3 on clay).
Berdych next heads to the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, the third and final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tennis tournament contested on clay.