Czech No. 1 Tomas Berdych is through to the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he will now come up against Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky for a spot in the quarter-final round. This marks the third time these two will meet on the professional circuit, with Berdych leading the head-to-head series 2-0.
The third seed cruised into the second round in Dubai with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Marius Copil. Berdych, who reached the final of last year’s event, lost only two points on his first serve against Copil, emphasizing his dominance during the encounter. 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.
World No. 88 Serigy Stakhovsky earned his first ever ATP World Tour victory over Ivan Dodig in their opening round encounter to arrive in the second round in Dubai. Stakhovsky withstood 12 aces and all five break points against him, to eventually clinch the match 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 6-2 in two hours and 17 minutes. The victory earns him a second round encounter with last year’s runner-up Tomas Berdych.
This marks the third time these two will meet on the professional circuit, with Berdych leading the head-to-head series 2-0. The Czech’s wins came at the 2010 Rogers Cup and the 2012 Indian Wells Masters to maintain a perfect record against Stakhovsky. Their second encounter was the tighter affair, as Stakhovsky managed to snatch the opening set in a tiebreak, before losing the remaining sets 6-3, 6-4. With both those contests taking place on hard court, Berdych will clearly be the favourite heading into their match-up tomorrow, as he will likely earn the victory in straight sets.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Straight Sets