Second seed Czech Tomas Berdych dealt with home crowd favorite Sam Querrey in two straight sets and will play for his second 2012 ATP title in final of Winston-Salem.
Berdych certainly did not make his life easy against seventh-seeded Querrey as he gave away a break already in the opening game. There were some long games being played in the set, but Querrey held on to his serve until after 4-3, when Berdych first broke back and then claimed the set with a second consecutive break. The American might have hit eleven aces in this set, ten more than his rival, but even that was not enough to beat the Czech, who converted two out of his ten break points. Berdych has also won impressive 31 return points as opposed to Querrey’s 9.
Both of the players could hardy keep a serve in the second set. Berdych had an advantage of a break after two games, but then lost two serves quite easily. 28th-ranked Querrey was in a position to level the match with some good serving, yet world no. 7 Berdych was capable of another comeback. While Querrey was statistically a better server in the second set hitting more aces (7-2) and having an excellent first serve percentage (74%-58%), Berdych was clearly more effective on his returns (24-10). All in all, winning 55 return points against Querrey’s 19 might have been a crucial factor in the Czech’s 6-4, 6-3 victory.
Berdych won two of his last matches against his Winston-Salem final opponent third-seeded John Isner, although they did not meet after third round of Roland Garros in 2010. At the same time, Isner will be eager to defend his last year’s victory, so we will have to wait and see whether history will repeat itself in this case.