Dubai: Tomas Berdych gave himself a second successive chance of winning the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open with a hassle-free 7-5, 7-5 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Dubai Tennis Stadium late on Friday.
The world number six, who lost to Novak Djokovic in last year’s final, was always a shade better than his opponent from Germany as he booked his spot in the final in an hour and 29 minutes.
Berdych’s opponent in the final was to be decided later in the evening with two former champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic battling each other on Centre Court.
Except for a minor blip at the beginning of the first set, where Kohlschreiber broke serve and held for a 2-0 lead, everything was smooth sailing for the dominant Czech.
Trailing 4-5, Berdych took the next three games to take the opening set 7-5 in 38 minutes.
In the second set, the two players were more evenly matched with a hold of serves throughout.
However, Berdych managed to raise his level by a notch in the 12th to take his winning career record to 8-1 against the German.
“It was really tight and very close sets. The one moment I want to point, it was definitely the beginning of the match, which I probably forgot myself at the room and just came right after, and it was definitely not me, and it was really horrible start to the game,” Berdych admitted afterwards to explain his slow start.
‘I managed to refocus myself and stay there, stay calm, and wait for my chance, which in the end I got. Then I was ready for it, so I took the first set,” he explained.
“Basically the same stuff happened in the second set. Philipp was serving really well and very solid and he didn’t give me much chance at all on his serve. Then I got my one chance in the last game, and I took it,” Berdych added.
Kohlschreiber really did not have much to offer by way of resistance against the world number six. “I think he had always a little bit more from the game. He served very strong in his service games and I didn’t have too many chances. The only chance I got I broke him, had a very good start, but then over the time I think he had more in my service games, more pressure on, and I didn’t serve so well,” Kohlschreiber said.
“I think I had to go over many second serves, and then it’s always tight against these top guys,” he said.
Tomas Berdych bt Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 7-5.
Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer