World No. 7 Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic will cross paths for the seventh time on the professional tour at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament Sunday afternoon, where they will compete for the Rotterdam title. Cilic trails the head-to-head series 2-4, but is coming off his fourth indoor title in Zagreb last week and will be looking to carry forth the momentum from his nine consecutive wins on the tour.
Third seed Tomas Berdych defeated Latvian No. 1 Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-2 in 76 minutes to set up his first final of the season. Guilbis, who was coming off a surprising upset of Juan Martin del Potro, was simply unable to withstand the pressure from Berdych’s serve, as he attempted to resist the Czech’s seven aces. Berdych has not won a title since October, 2012 and will be looking to end that drought tomorrow afternoon in Rotterdam.
“I was very pleased with the way I played and handled the game,” said Berdych. “At 2-1 [in the second set], I was 40/0 up, but Ernests went full power and played some really great tennis. He got a break point, but I managed to save it with an ace. It was a special game.”
Croatia’s Marin Cilic defeated local wild card Igor Sijsling 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in the semi-finals to extend his winning streak to nine matches. The world No. 37, who captured his fourth PBZ Zagreb Indoors title last week, is now on a 9-match winning streak and will be looking to win his second title in as many weeks when he steps out on court tomorrow afternoon. A win over Berdych would return Cilic the title of Croatian No. 1.
This marks the sixth time the two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Berdych leading the head-to-head series 4-2. While Cilic is coming off a fantastic couple of weeks on the tour, it is unlikely that his streak will extend past nine victories, as Berdych appears motivated to finally end his long ATP World Tour title drought.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Three Sets