Dubai: Tomas Berdych marked his tenth appearance at the Dubai Tennis Championships with a 6-1, 6-4 thumping of Joao Sousa to reach the second round yesterday.
Tomas Berdych returns to Joao Sousa during their first round match of the Dubai Tennis Championships yesterday
The Czech seventh seed who arrived in the Gulf after a semi-final last weekend in Marseille, has twice finished a finalist at the Aviation Club and has reached the semis here at four of the last five editions.
The ATP number seven improved to 21-9 at the event as he prepares to face 144th-ranked Thomas Fabbiano after the Italian defeated Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-4. Berdych won his opening set in just 23 minutes but had to come out on top in the second set after an exchange of three consecutive breaks to deny Sousa any chance of beating a top 10 player for only the second time in his career.
"He was struggling in the first set, he could only get better," the winner said. "He started to play a little bit more solid, a little bit more aggressive from his forehand side, his stronger one.
He pushed me a bit more, but overall my performance was quite good.
"It’s good to go through and not make things too complicated."