Top 10 competitors Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have successfully arrived at the quarter-final stage of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where they will cross paths for the seventh time on the professional circuit. Of their six previous meetings, Berdych has reigned victorious in four of them, brining the head-to-head series to 4-2.
After cruising into the second round with a victory over Marius Copil, Berdych picked up his 13th win in 14 matches this afternoon, as he defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky in straight sets to reach the quarter-final round. The Czech is coming off his ninth career ATP World Tour title two weeks back at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, where he defeated Marin Cilic to lift the trophy. His victory over Copil extended his winning streak to eight consecutive matches and he will be looking to extend that streak further in the hopes of another successful run in Dubai. His next opponent is world No. 10 Tsonga.
“Tsonga’s a very tough opponent,” said Berdych. “He’s a really solid, [an] established player from the Top 10. He really likes these very fast conditions. It’s something that really suits his game. All the matches that we have played were very close, always a big battle. I’m really looking forward to that.”
The former French No. 1 arrived at the quarter-final stage in Dubai without playing a single point in the second round, as he was given a walkover after Nikolay Davydenko withdrew from the match-up with a rib injury. Prior to that, Tsonga’s opening round contest was a swift one, as he defeated Romania’s Victor Hanescu 6-4, 6-2 to begin his campaign in Dubai. He will now be looking for his biggest win of the season: a quarter-final victory over Berdych, who is ranked 3 spots above Tsonga.
This marks the seventh time the two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Berdych leading the head-to-head series with four victories to Tsonga’s two. While the Czech No. 1 holds the lead in the series, his last win came in London in 2012, while Tsonga’s won their latest encounter at last year’s Marseille event. All of their matches have taken place on hard courts, both indoor and outdoor, and that will continue to be the case tomorrow afternoon in Dubai. Berdych should be considered a strong favourite for this contest considering his performances to date this season. He has already secured his first title since 2012 and will be far more relaxed without that pressure.With most of their matches going three sets, this one should be no different, with Berdych snatching the victory with s strong finish in the third.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Three Sets