Czech Tomas Berdych came back from one set down to overhaul Croatia’s Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, in the men’s final of the ATP-WTA China Open yesterday, winning his first title since spring 2009.
In the women’s final, Polish 11th seed Agnieszka Radwanska defeated German ninth seed Andrea Petkovic 7-5, 0-6, 6-4 under smoggy conditions in the capital.
The victory lifts 10th-ranked Berdych past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to No. 7 in the ATP world standings.
It was the third-seeded Berdych’s first final of the season after losing in six semi-finals and his first ATP title since Munich in 2009. The Czech said his goal this year has been to find consistency and hoped Beijing could set him in the right direction.
Unseeded Cilic had appeared to be in command in the first set, but was eventually beaten by Berdych’s strong serve and consistent play in the second and third sets.
Cilic has been without a trophy since February last year, at home in Zagreb. He has now lost four straight finals since then.
The Croatian sprinted away with the first set, claiming it with his fourth ace, but the setback seemed to inspire Berdych, who leveled at one set apiece despite losing an early second-set break that he got back in the final game.
In the third set, the Czech completed the victory, as Cilic’s attacking game was nowhere to be found. Berdych took the sixth ATP title of his career on 15 winners and 22 unforced errors.
Cilic had used his big serve with success all week in Beijing and fired down seven aces in the final, but Berdych matched him with the same number.
Both players dripped sweat in the unseasonably humid Beijing autumn weather and the problems were compounded by a pall of smog enveloping the National Tennis Center. The air quality monitor at the US embassy in Beijing recorded “hazardous” levels throughout the final day of competition.
Additional reporting by staff writer
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first