|Posted on September 5, 2009 at 9:28 AM|
The Star-Ledger - NJ.com - Andy McCullough
Sept. 5, 2009
MAN TO WATCH
Pretty soon, the roles will reverse. Pretty soon, Tomas Berdych will no longer be the higher-seeded player, the one with the burden of expectations.
Starting in the next round, Berdych, the No. 17 seed in this tournament and a 23-year-old Czech, will be facing higher-ranked players. And that's just what he wants.
"Right now, I was playing two matches where I was the seeded player,"Berdych said. "I was facing guys who came from (qualifiers) or lower rankings. So on my side, there's a little bit of pressure, that I have to win and I have to bring the good game and win those matches."
Berdych took down tricky lefty Horacio Zeballos, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, Friday to move on. Standing 6-foot-5, he served up 17 aces.
Berdych will play No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez next. If he advances, he'll reach the fourth round of the Open for the fourth time.
"I like more this kind of situation," Berdych said. "I'm just going to go on court and try to play my best, and the pressure is going to be on their side. So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to the next match."
Order of Play - Sunday, September 6, 2009
Grandstand - Match Start 11:00 A.M.
Women's Doubles - 3rd Round
Alexa Glatch(USA)/Carly Gullickson(USA) vs Maria Kirilenko(RUS)/Elena Vesnina(RUS)
Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)
Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs Julien Benneteau (FRA)
Men's Singles - 3rd Round
Gael Monfils (FRA) vs Jose Acasuso (ARG)
Tomas Berdych reacts during his match against Fernando Gonzalez
during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009.
Gonzalez won 7-5, 6-4, 6-4
Tomas Berdych lost to Fernando Gonzalez 5-7, 4-6, 4-6... let's say it was a bad day at the office (Tomas only 4 aces, 16 Gonzo - Tomas had 5 bp chances.... could convert 0/5... Today Fernando Gonzalez was the player with the luck on his side.
Tomas Berdych returns a shot to Fernando Gonzalez during their 3rd round US Open match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2009 in New York.
Gonzalez won 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
Chilean Fernando Gonzalez saved all five break points he faced as he reached the fourth round for the second successive year with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Tomas Berdych, the No. 17 seed from the Czech Republic. The 29-year-old Gonzalez struck 45 winners to 31 unforced errors as he broke once in each set to seal victory after two hours and 12 minutes.
Tomas Berdych (CZE)  serves to his opponent during his third round match.
Photo by: Philip Hall/usopen.org
Unbreakable Gonzalez impressive in win over BerdychBy Joshua Rey
Sunday, September 6, 2009
No. 11 Fernando Gonzalez reached his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal seven years ago in Flushing Meadows. He's now one win away from returning to the US Open quarters after eliminating No. 17 Tomas Berdych in a hard-hitting match on the Grandstand, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
Berdych entered the match having won his previous three meetings against Gonzalez, each on a hard court. But the Chilean came through in the clutch Sunday, saving all five break points he faced with unreturnable first serves.
"The first break point of the match I did it. The second I did it again," said Gonzalez. "I was serving really huge. That gives me a lot of confidence when I have to go forward. He didn't broke my serve. I won many free points."
Both men flexed their muscles early. Gonzalez followed a 136-mph service winner out wide with a swinging forehand volley to hold for 2-2. Berdych countered in the Chilean's next service game, attacking a pair of backhand returns to earn the first break point of the match. Gonzalez erased that chance with a service winner and, following five deuces, held for 3-3, when Berdych blasted a forehand return wide.
After Gonzalez won the 10th game, making the score 5-5, his faithful Chilean fans broke into their famous "Chi-Chi-Chi, Le-Le-Le" chant. Gonzalez responded by ripping a down-the-line backhand winner on the run from close to the front row, breaking Berdych's serve.
"I was a little bit lucky," said Gonzalez, "because I was really far away from the court and had only maybe a half meter to do it and I did it."
The Chilean converted his first set point with a powerful down-the-line forehand.
Berdych appeared poised to take control of the second set, holding serve, then reaching love-30 on Gonzalez's serve. The Czech moved Gonzalez at will in a long rally until Gonzalez belted a backhand winner out of nowhere, leaving Berdych with a smirk of surprise on his face.
At 15-30, Gonzalez connected with the sideline on a slice backhand and the baseline with a cross-court forehand before finally hitting an inside-out forehand winner. Berdych couldn't help but laugh, holding up two fingers toward his coach to represent the two lines Gonzalez had brushed.
After a double fault, the Chilean saved a break point with a 127-mph service winner. He hit behind Berdych for a pair of forehand winners to hold for 1-1. Three games later, Gonzalez broke the Czech thanks to a heavy top spin backhand return that bounced above the 6-foot-5 Berdych, drawing an error.
Serving for the second set at 5-4, Gonzalez hit a forehand winner, two service winners and a 129-mph ace to hold at love.
Like he did in the second set, Berdych had an opening in his opponent's first service game, reaching 15-40. But three unreturnable serves and a down-the-line backhand winner later, Gonzalez held for 1-1. He broke in the next game by retrieving a 129-mph Berdych serve and hitting a passing shot that the Czech couldn't handle.
Berdych did well to force Gonzalez to serve out the match, saving four break points in the seventh game of the third set and a match point in the ninth. But he couldn't keep Gonzalez from claiming match point No. 2, swinging and missing on a serve down the tee.
After playing his first two matches on outer courts, Gonzalez was happy to get through a big test on a big stage.
"It was tough conditions to play," he said. "I was playing on the small courts, then you go to a bigger court, and it's tough. You lose the dimensions in the beginning. It was a little bit windy, but I think I'm happy the way that I played today."
Gonzalez will play Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round.