First title for Berdych in 16 months as he wins Rotterdam
Tomas Berdych ended his ATP World Tour title drought on Sunday, blasting past Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-2 in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament final in Rotterdam. The World No. 7 hoisted his first trophy in 16 months, having fallen in all three finals he contested in 2013.
It was Berdych’s ninth tour-level crown in his 20th final outing. Despite reaching the quarter-finals or better in 15 of his 23 tournaments last season, the Czech was the only player in the Top 10 not to win a title. His last tournament victory came in Stockholm at the end of 2012, when he upended Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He becomes the first Czech to win in Rotterdam since Radek Stepanek in 2006.
"It feels absolutely amazing," Berdych said. "It's been a while, actually 16 months since I won a title. To win a title in Rotterdam it's a nice bonus. I'm extremely happy with the way I handled it throughout the week. I've been serving pretty well, which has been the strong part of my game."
The 28 year old’s resiliency was on display from the start, saving a trio of break points in the second game of the match and immediately pouncing on Cilic’s serve for an early break of his own.
Berdych would not face another break point from then on, hammering nine aces and winning an impressive 76 per cent of service points. He fired 20 winners and benefitted from 22 unforced errors by Cilic to claim the victory in 75 minutes.