Chalkdust Chronicles: Berdych rekindles his chances he wins his second round robin match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London
(November 12, 2014) LONDON – Almost like clockwork, Tomas Berdych put aside his very disappointing performance in the opening round against Stan Wawrinka, with a convincing win over US Open champion Marin Cilic.
In all five years he has played here, the tall Czech has always struggled in the opener, only to flourish later in the tournament, as he delivered a beat down on the Croatian in just an hour and a quarter, 6-3, 6-1.
Again, we see the uniqueness in the round-robin format perhaps come into play – where those have more experience with handling the second (and third) chance.
Berdych said: “I think that’s the beauty of this event. One day you can be swept out from the court like I did, or I’ve been actually, and in two days’ time you can come up and you can play a different tennis.”
The Czech is not out of the woods yet, as he tackles two-time defending champion up next, with the night session between Wawrinka and Djokovic to hopefully deliver the first three-setter of the tournament.
“I’m going to try to, you know, maybe three, four games,” he joked. “That would be better from the last time (laughter). You know, it’s always a huge challenge to play No. 1 player in the world. The way he’s playing, where are we playing, it’s pretty much all set up for him and for his game. That’s how it is.
“So for me it’s going to be great to play a match with him, maybe the last of the season, maybe not. But even if it’s the last one, it’s with the No. 1 player in the world. It’s really, as I said, huge challenge. I’m going to try to bring all I have what is left in me, challenge him.”
For Cilic, maybe mentally he had checked out of the tournament, admitting that the season has been long for him, and that he was feeling it a little.
“It’s, of course, a little bit disappointing to play like this. I was not expecting it. But sort of I feel a little bit tired, and body feels a little bit tired on the court. It seems that the things that I’m doing that are all basically going in a wrong direction. Especially with these guys at this kind of level, even small mistakes, or if you’re not at your best performances, the outcome is not going to be going in your favour. I haven’t also been playing last few weeks. Also the body, of course, is not at the best possible shape.”
He plays Stan Wawrinka in the final round robin, and after the Swiss’ fine return to form against Berdych, Cilic knows he can perhaps swing a little more freely.
“It’s going to be I think more pressure on Stan, that he has to win. I mean, we’ll see, I don’t know. But, anyway, I’m going to try to enjoy. I deserve to be here as a matter of having a great season. Of course, try to play well and to perform well on Friday.”
Cilic and Wawrinka will play in the last of the Group A round robin matches on Friday.