Sunday, October 21, 2012

STOCKHOLM 2012: Berdych Edges Tsonga To Win

For a set and a half Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the better player in the final of the Stockholm Open, losing less than a handful of points on his serve to Tomas Berdych. The crucial point came at 6-4, 4-2 with the tall Czech player struggling to hold his serve against a furious attack from the Frenchman. Somehow Berdych was able to serve his way out of trouble and the momentum shifted to his side. This was the first game in a sweep of 5 in a row which garnered Berdych the second set and dashed Tsonga's hope of winning his 10th career title (now 9-7 in finals). Berdych ended up winning the match 4-6 6-4 6-4.

With Berdych's win over Tsonga he claimed his 8th career ATP Tour title (2nd of 2012) and improved his finals record to 8-all. Berdych also improved to a 3-1 career head-to-head over the Frenchman, winning both the matches the two have played in 2012.

More importantly, Berdych is now #6 in the race to qualify for the ATP World Tour finals, with Juan Martin del Potro also winning a title (in Vienna) on Sunday at #7 and Tsonga at #8. There are only two weeks left to gain points before London where only the Top 8 players are invited to play, with most of the top players competing in Basel, Switzerland this week and then the BNP Paribas Masters in Bercy, Paris the following week. Roger Federer is the defending champion in both tournaments and needs to repeat that performance this year if he is to have a hope of keeping his hold on the #1 ranking through the end of the year.

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