BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2011
Berdych Saves 1 M.P. To Edge Tipsarevic
by James Buddell|
Seventh seed Tomas Berdych saved one match point at 5-6 in the deciding-set tie-break, to beat ninth seed Janko Tipsarevic, a replacement for Andy Murray in Group A, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(6) on Wednesday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. It was Berdych's second straight win over Tipsarevic, having beaten the Serbian at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris two weeks ago.
"I was a bit unlucky on Monday [against Novak Djokovic], said Berdych. "I got luckier here. So 1 all. Before the tie-break, I was feeling pretty good, I would say pretty confident. [The] last few games that I was serving was kind of quick [and] easy. But as long the tie-break went, it was really close."
Tipsarevic broke Berdych's serve in the first and fifth games, blending shot placement with fine volley winners, for a 4-1 lead. When serving for the set at 5-2, Tipsarevic saved two break points from 15/40 and clinched the opener with his second ace. He'd dropped just six points on serve, while Berdych had committed 11 unforced errors - including seven on his forehand.
Berdych, making his second straight appearance at The O2 in London, continued to adopt aggressive tactics and broke Tipsarevic at 4-3, 30/40 with a low forehand volley. He hit four aces and won 21 of 30 points on his serve overall in the second set.
At 1-2 in the deciding set, Tipsarevic raised his game, regularly hitting deep returns to Berdych's feet. The Czech fell to 30/40, but was able to come to the net to save the break point, as Tipsarevic scrambled from well behind the baseline. It was the only break point opportunity through to the tie-break.
Berdych gained a mini-break at 5-3 in the tie-break, but two points later he over-hit a forehand wide. Tipsarevic gained a set point opportunity at 6-5, when Berdych's forehand again faltered.
Rushing to the net for just the seventh time in the match, Tipsarevic directed a backhand volley long. Tipsarevic then hit his second double fault to hand Berdych the advantage. The 26 year old then clinched victory in two hours and 26 minutes, when Tipsarevic slipped trying to retrieve a Berdych forehand. The third set lasted 67 minutes.
"If I have [that] chance one more time, I would still take that ball early and go to the net and play the volley," admitted Tipsarevic. "So I am not honestly at all disappointed because of the way I played on the match point.
"I am [annoyed] about myself that I managed to make my first double fault at 6 all in the tie-break and that I completely managed to put Berdych back in the match. He wasn't playing great at the beginning, maybe because of the influence and lack of confidence that he got from losing to Djokovic with the match point up."
Berdych is now 1-1 in Group A, having lost to World No. 1 Djokovic after holding a match point on Monday. He will next play fifth seed David Ferrer on Friday.
Tipsarevic, who is the first alternate to appear at the year-end championship since Radek Stepanek in 2008, dropped to a 53-26 match record on the season. He is now 2-9 versus Top 10 opponents this year. He plays his compatriot Djokovic in two days time.
"Not putting myself down, [but] I felt that I was playing some good tennis in the first set. For no particular reason, I stepped two metres back, gave him more time [and] more space to get back into the match. Even though I played better in the third, as you could see, just a couple of points decided the winner.
"I felt that I didn't disappoint anyone with my performance today. I think I could have won much easier. But there is still one more match to go. If I beat myself about it, that's just not going to help against the World No. 1 on Friday."