|Posted on December 31, 2018 at 8:50 PM|
Tomas Berdych in action against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during the first round of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha on Monday, December 31, 2018.
Tomas Berdych, who has not competed since the Fever-Tree Championships in June 2018, makes his return as a wild card against a player whom he has beaten on eight of 10 attempts: Philipp Kohlschreiber. Former World No. 4 Berdych seeks his first title since 2016 Shenzhen. The winner of that match could face No. 8 seed Fernando Verdasco in the second round.
1. Chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani
2. Ester Berdych Satorova, wife of Tomas Berdych
3. Tomas Berdych’s coach Martin Stepanek
4. Opponent Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber
5. Tomas Berdych’s physiotherapist Sergio Ferraz (in 2013-2014 team)
The 33-year-old Tomas Berdych played in the final in Doha in 2015 and he chooses this tournament to make a comeback, playing for the first time since June and Queen's before he missed the rest of the season due to a back injury.
In his 11th match against Philipp Kohlschreiber, Tomas grabbed the ninth win after a 6-4, 7-6 triumph in an hour and 42 minutes, winning six points more than the German and facing just two break points in the entire match. Philipp broke him once but that wasn't enough for at least a set, losing the edge in the closing stages of both sets to suffer the fourth loss in the last five matches.
Berdych had to play from a break down right from the start after a backhand error, finding the rhythm after that and erasing the deficit in the sixth game after a volley winner that gave him the confidence before the rest of the encounter.
Serving to stay in the set at 4-5, Kohlschreiber netted a forehand to give his serve away for the second time and Tomas was on a good course to score the first win in half a year. Both players saved one break point in set number two to reach the tie break and Berdych won it 7-5 with three mini-breaks, clinching the win with a service winner to set an interesting duel against Fernando Verdasco.
Berdych Returns With Win In Doha
Former World No. 4 Tomas Berdych returned to the ATP Tour for the first time in six months on Monday and opened his 2019 campaign with a 6-4, 7-6(5) first-round victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany in one hour and 42 minutes at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Czech wild card Berdych, who went 11-11 in 2018 before ending his year in June due to a back injury, will next play eighth-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in Doha.