Czech Berdych closes in on ticket to London
PARIS - Reuters
Berdych’s good run of form is likely to earn the Czech player a spot in next year’s Olympic Games in London. AP photo
Czech Tomas Berdych was just one win from securing a place in the season-ending ATP World Tour finals after he dismissed Spain’s Fernando Verdasco 6-3 7-5 in the Paris Masters second round yesterday.
The fifth-seeded Berdych, who will book his ticket for the Nov. 20-27 event at the 02 in London if he reaches the quarter-finals at Bercy, will next face either 11th seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia or American Alex Bogomolov Jr.
Seven players are vying for one of the three remaining spots for the World Tour finals.
World number one Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, who has pulled out of the Bercy tournament, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and David Ferrer have already qualified.
After an early trade of service breaks, world number 23 Verdasco netted a forehand to hand Berdych a 5-3 lead in the opening set, wrapping it up by holding serve to love.
He broke in the third and seventh games of the second set but Verdasco put up some resistance to claw it back to 5-5.
Berdych broke again in the 11th game before wrapping it up on his sixth match point with a backhand winner.
Later yesterday, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the sixth seed, was to take on Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez as he also looks to snatch a spot for the World Tour finals.