|Posted on September 5, 2009 at 4:26 AM|
Tomas Berdych returning a shot against Horacio Zeballos in their second round match on Court 7.
NEW YORK TIMES
Thomas Lin | September 4, 2009
Berdych Finds Rhythm in Second Round
Tomas Berdych is starting to settle in at the Open. After what he admitted was a nervous first round match, the No. 17 seed from the Czech Republic overcame a spirited challenge from Horacio Zeballos of Argentina today, 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2), 6-2.
Zeballos, a lefty with a smooth one-handed backhand, used his big serve and solid defense to confound Berdych, whose groundstroke errors cost him a close second set.
Berdych said it was tricky playing a lefty whom he had not seen before. He said the key for him was staying calm and focused.
One of an increasing crop of 6-foot-5 players with speed, agility and a deadly big serve/big forehand combination, Berdych had plenty of weapons to turn to. He also came in behind strong approach shots for easy put-away volleys. For the match, he hit 17 aces and converted 84 percent of his first serve points.
He now moves into the third round, where he will likely face the powerful forehand of No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.
Berdych said he prefers matches against higher seeds, when the pressure is off and he can swing freely. But in a potential match against Gonzalez, Berdych will be an underdog on paper only. A former top-10 player, Berdych has defeated Gonzalez in their last three encounters.