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Tomas Berdych finds form to beat Andy Roddick in London

ATP World Tour Finals
Venue: O2 Arena, London Dates: 21-28 November
Coverage: One match each day live on BBC TV, streamed online & available through iPlayer; text commentary online and on mobiles for every singles match via BBC Sport website; every singles match live on 5live sports extra.

Tomas Berdych

Highlights - Berdych v Roddick

By David Ornstein at the O2 Arena

Tomas Berdych finally recaptured the sort of form that saw him reach the Wimbledon final as he beat Andy Roddick to haul himself back into contention at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The powerful Czech showed outstanding attacking and defensive skills to win 7-5 6-3 and ended the day level on points with Novak Djokovic, who lost the evening match to Group A leader Rafael Nadal.

Berdych grew in confidence after saving two break points at 4-5 in the first set, breaking Roddick in the next game before serving out the opener.

From that point on the world number six, who had won just eight out of 21 matches since his memorable run at SW19, was able to dominate Roddick and leave his place in the competition hanging by a thread.

The American, ranked eighth, needs to beat Djokovic on Friday to have any hope of reaching the semis, while Berdych faces Nadal in his final round-robin match.

"It feels great," said a smiling Berdych afterwards. "None of these matches are easy, especially today against Andy because I played him this year three times and he won all three.

Being able to get through game 10 in the first set definitely raised his confidence level. He played well in the second set

Andy Roddick on Berdych

"I'm happy after losing to Djokovic to get back on the court and start to play my tennis again and feel good on court. That's what I needed.

"This season has been the best I ever played and I did a good job again today. I won a tough match and now I'm looking forward to the next one."

Although both men were beaten in their opening matches on Monday, Roddick was far more impressive in losing to Nadal than Berdych was in his defeat by Djokovic.

The American may be two spots below Berdych in the world rankings, but he arrived in London with a 6-2 head-to-head advantage over the Czech and having won each of their last four meetings.

And while Berdych may reflect proudly on the best year of his career, his post-Wimbledon slump smacked of a player bereft of form and belief.

That much was clear from the very first point against Djokovic - a visibly nervous Berdych opening proceedings with a double-fault - but against Roddick he looked sharp and confident from the outset, clipping a beautiful forehand winner up the line in game one.

Few in the men's game rival Roddick when it comes to statistics on serve and the 28-year-old came out all guns blazing as usual, conceding only four points in his opening five service games.

The set was turning into a war of attrition with an occasional flash of brilliance thrown into the mix, but it came to life in game 10 when Roddick, leading 5-4, applied serious pressure to the Berdych serve.

The 2003 US Open champion forced his opponent to put a backhand wide, an approach long and a volley wide to bring up two set points.

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But Berdych stayed calm and came up with some huge combinations and a wonderous half-volley pick-up at the net to avert the danger before mounting an assault on Roddick's serve in game 11.

The 6ft 5in right-hander fought his way back from 40-15 down to make deuce and, after coaxing Roddick into drilling a backhand beyond the baseline, broke serve with a brilliant forehand return.

Roddick was enjoying greater backing from the afternoon crowd, but the Berdych fans were making plenty of noise and their man was now stirring.

He comfortably served out the first set and picked up where he left off at the start of the second, signalling his intentions by sealing a love hold with a booming ace out wide in game four.

That gave Berdych the perfect platform from which to land the decisive blow - and he delivered it in game five when Roddick sliced into the tramlines for 15-40 and was then similarly inaccurate with a overhead from the baseline.

Berdych still had work to do and how he did it.

Another stunning pick-up gave him a 4-2 lead and, following a gritty hold in game eight, he sealed the 85-minute win by dismantling Roddick's serve once more in game nine.

Roddick felt the turning point came when Berdych saved two set points at 4-5 in the first set.

"I don't think he came into the match with a lot of confidence," stated a downbeat Roddick. "Being able to get through game 10 in the first set definitely raised his confidence level. He played well in the second set."



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see also
Roddick v Berdych as it happened
24 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Superb Nadal eases past Djokovic
24 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Nadal v Djokovic as it happened
24 Nov 10 |  Tennis
ATP Tour Finals photos day four
24 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Nadal holds on to defeat Roddick
22 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Superb Djokovic crushes Berdych
22 Nov 10 |  Tennis
The contenders
18 Nov 10 |  Tennis


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