|Posted on October 24, 2015 at 1:30 PM|
Tomas Berdych reacts after winning over Cyprus' Marcos Baghdatis the semi final match of the ATP Stockholm Open tennis tournament on October 24, 2015 in Stockholm. Baghdatis retired the match due to an injury.
Top seed Tomas Berdych continues title defence in Stockholm
ATP World Tour Staff | 24 October 2015
Tomas Berdych and Jack Sock will vie for the title at the If Stockholm Open after both claimed semi-final victories on Saturday.
Sock reached his second ATP World Tour final of the season with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-2 win over second seed Richard Gasquet, firing 11 aces during the one-hour and 22-minute affair. He converted on four of eight break chances, while saving four of five faced. The American, who claimed his maiden crown on the clay of Houston earlier this year, struck four consecutive aces in the last game to close out the match.
"I had to play well today to beat a guy like that," said Sock. "He's having such a good year, but today I was able to stay on him and dictate a lot of the points. I was able to get a rhythm at the end and close it out comfortably."
It was Sock's second victory over Gasquet this year, having edged out the Frenchman in three sets at the Citi Open in Washington. The 23 year old will next square off against Berdych with the title on the line, just one week removed from their lone encounter on the ATP World Tour at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Berdych prevailed in three sets in that meeting.
The top seeded Czech advanced to the final after Marcos Baghdatis retired following the first set with a right groin injury, in Saturday's second semi-final. Berdych, a two-time champion on the hard courts of Stockholm, downed Grigor Dimitrov to win last year's title and is bidding to become the 13th repeat tour-level winner this year, and the first since Roger Federer retained his Cincinnati crown. The 30 year old broke through with his first title of the year last month in Shenzhen.
"It's not the way you want to finish a tennis match, but it's sports and it's unfortunate that it happens," said Berdych, who punched his ticket to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals last week in Shanghai. "You just wish all the best for Marcos. He's a friend and a great guy. I'm through to the final and there's one more match to go.
"It was a tough battle (against Sock in Shanghai) and I'm expecting revenge from him. I just have to be ready. I'm strong and feeling good, so I'm looking forward to the final."