The If Stockholm Open is set to culminate with an enthralling final match-up between Grigor Dimitrov and Tomas Berdych. The Bulgarian is the tournament’s defending champion and will be looking to maintain his stranglehold over the event and further his quest for a qualification spot in the Barclays ATP World Tour Final.
The Bulgarian actually leads the head-to-head series 3-1, but the pair have split their two most recent encounters – both of which took place on clay.
The top seed edged past qualifier Mathias Bachinger 7-6(7), 6-4 to pick up the 50th win of the season and arrive at the final in Stockholm. It was a good showing from Berdych, won the contest in 85 minutes and furthered his qualification bid for the World Tour Finals.
Next for Berdych is a meeting with Grigor Dimitrov, whom he is behind 3-1 in the series and has never beaten on a hard court.
“[Dimitrov is] hungry to win, make some points and still be in the close chase of the [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals,” said Berdych. “But I’m in the same position as him. I’m going to try and do the same thing and really just try to play my tennis and fight for another title.”
Defending champion Grigor Dimitrov picked up a relatively straightforward win over Bernard Tomic in their semi-final match-up on Saturday. The contest last 79 minutes and saw the Bulgarian work his way back from a break down in the second set.
Sitting at No. 11 in the Race to London, Dimitrov is looking to produce the necessary performances to snatch a late spot in the tournament.
“I like my chances,” said Dimitrov on his hope of winning a fifth ATP World Tour title. “I never dislike my chances if I’m in the final. It’s a nice place to be again. I would love to defend a title every single week. It brings the best out in you so for me it’s a really nice place to be in.”
This marks the fifth time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour with Dimitrov leading the series 3-1. While this will likely be a close encounter, Dimitrov will hold the slight advantage and betting favour.
“[Tomas is] one of the biggest hitters out there,” said Dimitrov,. “I think we both are hungry to get that title so it’s going to be interesting.”
Prediction: Grigor Dimitrov in Three Sets