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Berdych To Meet Hewitt After Battle

Munich, Germany

Tomas Berdych© Getty ImagesTomas Berdych rallied from one set down.

ATP World Tour No. 28 Tomas Berdych survived a scare before reaching the quarter-finals of the BMW Open by FWU AG on Thursday. The Czech player rallied from a one-set deficit to oust German wild card Andreas Beck 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Munich, Germany.

The 23 year old withstood 10 aces from Beck, while firing seven service winners of his own, to prevail in two hours and 30 minutes. Berdych converted two of 13 break point chances and saved five of eight break points against him in the pair’s first meeting.

Berdych is through to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season after improving to an 11-10 match record. The former World No. 9, who made a fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open (l. to Federer), reached the semi-finals on his previous appearance in Munich in 2007 (l. to Youzhny).

Berdych takes a 1-0 career lead into his next match with Australian wild card Lleyton Hewitt, who recovered from a 0-3 deficit in the first set to knock out Dutch qualifier Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-4 and reach his fourth ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season. No. 236-ranked De Bakker had upset fifth-seeded German Rainer Schuettler to win his first ATP World Tour match of the season in the first round.

"I didn’t really know much about him before the match," said Hewitt. "He’s obviously had a really good week in qualifying and beating a quality player like Schuettler in the first round in straight sets. I got off to a slow start. It took me a few games to work out his game as well. I thought I really stepped it up towards the end of the first set and throughout the second set. I served pretty well today, as well."

Former World No. 1 Hewitt made his tournament debut on Tuesday by saving two match points to defeat Philipp Petzschner 6-2, 6-7(2), 7-6(8) for his 500th career match win (501-170).

The 28-year-old Adelaide native continues to make a comeback from the left-hip surgery he underwent in August 2008. He clinched his 27th tour-level title in Houston (d. Odesnik) last month, made a semi-final exit at Memphis (l. to Roddick) and reached the quarter-finals in Sydney (l. to Nalbandian).

Hewitt said about his next match against Berdych: "He’s one of the class players of the tour on any surface. It’s always a step up playing a top seed in this event, so for me it’s good to get another match on clay before the French Open. Hopefully I can go out there and play well tomorrow."

Wild card Daniel Brands fought hard to oust France’s Julien Benneteau 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6) and ensure that there would be one German representative in the quarter-finals in Munich.

The 21-year-old right-hander will contest his first ATP World Tour quarter-final after recording just his fourth career tour-level victory (4-5 record). The No. 141-ranked Deggendorf native is making his third appearance in Munich and previously reached the second round on his debut in 2007 (l. to Waske).

Brands will next take on Potito Starace, who edged past 2008 finalist Simone Bolelli 6-4, 7-6(5) in an all-Italian second-round clash. Starace converted 86 per cent of first serves and broke serve twice in the one-hour, 54-minute encounter. Bolelli finished runner-up to Fernando Gonzalez in the title match last year.

The 27-year-old Starace has won back-to-back ATP World tour main-draw matches for the first time this season after also reaching the third round in Barcelona two weeks ago (l. to Ferrer). The No. 95-ranked right-hander is approaching his 100th tour-level victory and currently has a 94-109 record. He last reached an ATP World Tour quarter-final in July 2008 when he went on the make the semi-finals in Kitzbuhel (l. to Melzer).

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© Ben Solomon

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