Berdych down Somdev
World No 6 Tomas Berdych underlined his class and status by outclassing the last Indian hope in singles, Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 6-1, in just 65 minutes en route to the quarter-finals of the Chennai Open tennis tournament here yesterday
It was a master class from 27-year-old Berdych and the difference in ranking was far too obvious as Devvarman, at 664, had no answer to the blistering pace of the Czech star, the top seed, who next meets Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut, who put out German Matthias Bachinger 7-6 (4), 6-3 in 100 minutes.The first meeting between Berdych and Devvarman turned out to be a rather one-sided affair with the Czech ace, who had a fairly successful 2012 season with two titles and 14 quarter-final or better appearances, dominating from the outset.
The 27-year-old Indian, who enjoyed a career-best ranking of 62 in mid-2011 before a shoulder injury that required surgery put him out of action, fought as well as he could, but Berdych was clearly in a different league.
Berdych was off the blocks like a rocket as he broke Devvarman in the fourth game and went on to wrap up the set in 37 minutes.
The second set was almost a replica of the first with the six-foot, five-inch Berdych breaking Devvarman in the third game and then again in the fifth and seventh to close out the match.
“My off-season, after winning the Davis Cup for my country, was very busy, but I was able to do everything for my preparations for the new season. My game today was on a level that I wanted it to be for my first match of the new season and I am quite pleased with the way everything went,” said Berdych who hit 25 winners to Devvarman’s four, besides serving four aces.
Meanwhile, third seeded Croatian Marin Cilic looked rather rusty at the outset as he needed three sets to beat a dogged Russian Sergiy Stakhovky before making it to the round of eight, where he faces fifth seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire.