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01 October 2023

Berdych in Chennai Open quarter-finals

Czech Tomas Berdych serves to his Croatian opponent Ivan Dodig at the ATP Chennai Open on Wednesday. (AFP)


Top seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic cruised into the quarter-finals of the $ 450,000 ATP Chennai Open with an easy win over Ivan Dodig on Wednesday.

The world number six saw off the 88th-ranked Croat 6-2 6-4 in 87 minutes on the centre court of the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium in the southern Indian city.

Berdych, a first-timer in Chennai, had beaten Frederico Gil of Portugal 6-0 6-1 in just 45 minutes in Tuesday’s opening round.

The Czech ace showed no signs of fatigue after taking the court for the second successive day as he broke Dodig twice in the first set and then again in the fifth game of the second set.

“The scores may look like as if the match was easy, but I can tell you no match is ever easy,” the 25-year-old said. “One has to play well to make it look easy.

“It is more important that I give my best each time I go on court and take every chance that comes my way.
“I have had a good start in the tournament, but I am not looking at the semi-final or final yet. My next match is what counts.”
Berdych will play Blaz Kavcic, a 23-year-old from Slovenia, for a place in the semifinals.
The 112nd-ranked Kavcic outplayed number 114 Robert Kendrick of the United States 6-2 6-2 in 57 minutes.
German veteran Bjorn Phau fought back from the brink to upset fourth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France 1-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/4) after a tense struggle that lasted two hours and 31 minutes.
Gasquet, who raced through the first set in 29 minutes, was serving for the match at 5-2 in the second set when Phau launched a remarkable comeback.
The 31-year-old German forced the set into a tie-breaker and then won another tie-breaker in the decider to wrap up the thrilling encounter.
“After the first set, I decided to just hang in there and see how much I can stretch him,” said the 102nd-ranked Phau. “It came off, but I am totally drained.”
World number 30 Gasquet blamed the defeat on his inconsistent game, but praised Phau’s fighting qualities.
“I started well, but was unable to continue in the same way,” said Gasquet. “I don’t think I served and returned well, but Phau came back very strongly.”
Phau will meet seventh-seeded Xavier Malisse of Belgium in the quarter-final on Friday.
Malisse, who won the Chennai title in 2007, brushed aside Stephane Robert of France 6-2 6-2 in 58 minutes in a late-night match.