|Posted on September 28, 2013 at 8:00 AM|
Tomas has reached the semi-final of the Thailand Open. He will play against Frenchman Gilles Simon. "He's an opponent I don't have a positive record against. All of [our matches] were very close. I'm already in the semi-finals. I will keep going," said Berdych who says being tournament favourite is a double-edged sword. "I try to have positive thinking. Possibly you can have a better draw, not having to face one of the top players in an early round. But on the other hand, other [lower ranked] guys, they have nothing to lose. They can play their best against the top or second seeds."
H2H Tomas Berdych vs Gilles Simon
Order of Play - Saturday, September 28, 2013
Tomas ready to fight
gif File Size: 0.98 Mo - 300 x 180
Tomas needed nearly three hours to outlast Gilles Simon
THAILAND OPEN 2013
Berdych, Raonic To Fight For Bangkok Title
by ATP Staff | 28.09.2013
Top seed Tomas Berdych and third seed Milos Raonic will face off for the Thailand Open title in Bangkok, after winning their respective semi-finals on Saturday.
Berdych outlasted fourth seed Gilles Simon, prevailing 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5. The Czech fired 20 aces in the match that lasted two hours and 55 minutes.
The right-hander rallied from a 0-40 deficit in the final game of the match to close it out on his first match point.
Berdych improved hisH2H record against Simon to 3-5 and snapped a three-match losing streak against the Frenchman.
In his third ATP World Tour final of the season, the 28 year old is seeking to capture his first title of the year; he is the only member of the Top 10 not to have won a title in 2013.
Tomas Berdych waves to the crowd prior his match against Gilles Simon of France during the 2013 Thailand Open at Impact Arena on September 28, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Tomas Berdych serves in his match against Gilles Simon of France during the 2013 Thailand Open at Impact Arena on September 28, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Tomas Berdych plays a shot in his match against Gilles Simon of France during the 2013 Thailand Open at Impact Arena on September 28, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Tomas Berdych celebrates his victory over Gilles Simon of France in their men's singles semi-finals match at the Thailand Open tennis tournament in Bangkok September 28, 2013.
Tomas Berdych is congratulated by Gilles Simon of France after he won their men's singles semi-finals match at the Thailand Open tennis tournament in Bangkok September 28, 2013.
Berdych, Raonic to face off for Bangkok title
Top seed Tomas Berdych and #3 seed Milos Raonic are the last two standing after Saturday’s semi-final showdowns at the Thailand Open, and will face off in the final Sunday.
In the first match, top seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic inched closer to his first Bangkok title after dispatching #4 seedGilles Simon of France in a 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5 thriller that lasted almost three hours.
The first set was decided by a tiebreak. Berdych got the first mini-break but couldn’t serve it out and Simon prevailed 7-5.
Berdych bounced back strongly, however, breaking Simon three times while getting broken once himself en route to winning the second set 6-2.
The final set saw the pair exchange breaks in the second and third games. Berdych secured another break in the eleventh game butthen found himself down 0-40 while serving for the match.
After saving the first two break points, the Czech struck a down-the-line forehand on the third. The shot was called in and Simon had no challenges remaining to call for a Hawk-eye replay. Television replays showed the ball was actually out. Berdych thenstruck two good serves to seal the match.
“I didn’t change many things [about my game plan]. It was quite successful in the first set except that I was a bit unlucky. I knew the tactic that I was playing was a good one. So I was trying to keep doing the same thing and it turned out to be a good option in the end,” said Berdych during his post-match press conference.
“With Gilles, you kind of expect the match is gonna be long. That was his game. He likes to play long rallies. I was trying to deal with that today. It was a really hard one. The last game was very close and very tough. Finally my serve helped me a lot and I managed to finish it,” he added.
“It’s been a while. It’s gonna be my third final this year. As we say … for the third time, I hold my fingers crossed and it’s gonna happen. Now I feel a bit tired and need to recover well for tomorrow, being strong and ready.”
In the other semi-final match, #3 seed Milos Raonic ended #2 seed Richard Gasquet’s bid to defend his title, coming from behind to beat the Frenchman 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in one hours 51 minutes.
Having lost the first set 6-3, the Canadian turned the match around converting his only break point late in the second set. Raonic saved two break points in the final set and seized the all-important break in the tenth game, on the third of his match points.
Raonic fired 21 aces in the match with just one double fault.
“There’re a few things I need to do better tomorrow but I think the way I competed and the way I struck through a lot of difficult situations (was good) as he had more opportunities than I did,” said Raonic.
“I just felt like he was playing really well. It wasn’t not really too much me losing the first set. He did a lot of things to win it. He wasn’t really making too many unforced errors, if any.”
About tomorrow’s final, Raonic added: “It’s gonna be a tough match. We both had long ones today. But I don’t think that’s really gonna be any of a factor. I think it’s gonna be about who can control the points early or can dictate and control the centre of the court more,” said the 23-year-old Canadian.
Berdych and Raonic will duel it out in the final tomorrow. Berdych is looking to capture his first title of this year, having reached back-to-back finals in Marseille and Dubai. Raonic won a title this year in San Jose and tomorrow’s final will be his third of the year.
Raonic won their only previous meeting in straight sets in Cincinnati last year.
Tomas Made To Work Hard
gif File Size: 1.67 Mo - 300 x 180