After meeting in the third round of the Australian Open back in 2013, Tomas Berdych and Jurgen Melzer will cross paths at the Happy Slam once again, this time in the second round of the tournament. This will mark their sixth overall encounter on the tour, with Berdych leading the head-to-head series 3-2.
After reaching the final in Doha last week, Berdych took to court in Melbourne with an apparent confidence in his shotmaking that kept Alejandro Falla out of his element for the entire duration of the contest. Berdych hit 7 aces, won 80% of his first service points and 32 winners to close out the contest 6-3, 7-6(1), 6-3 in 1 hour and 54 minutes.
“I think it was a good test for me for the first round. I’m glad to handle it the way I did. You know, even I drop some games of my serve, then I was able to find it right away back, you know, bring the breaks up again, winning the tiebreak. So, yeah, I think for the occasion and the circumstances, it was a very good match today.”
Berdych also reiterated that he is certainly confident with his game after strong showings in Doha last week.
“There is a confidence in my game. I mean, I had a great week in Doha. Played very good matches there. And then just took the time to make the transition from time difference and stuff, use the time here for preparation. Everything went well. Everything was good. I’m really happy with the way, you know, it’s been last couple of days. Feeling good on the court.”
Next for Berdych is Jurgen Melzer, who defeated Victor Estrella Burgo in straight sets to reach the second round of the tournament. The Austrian fired 10 aces, won 81% of his first service points and hit 10 winners to close out the match 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
This marks the sixth time that Berdych and Melzer will meet on the professional tour, with Berdych leading the series 3-2. Given their last meeting took pace at the Australian Open two years ago, there is a clear blueprint as to how the Czech No. 1 can steer his way into the third round of the tournament.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Straight Sets