An all-Czech second round match is scheduled to take place on Wednesday afternoon in Paris, as Davis Cup teammates Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek cross paths once again on the professional circuit. Of their three previous meetings on the tour, Berdych leads the head-to-head series 2-1. However, this marks their first meeting on the tour in four years, as well as their first on clay.
Seeded fourth at this year’s event, Tomas Berdych advanced to the second round of the French Open with next-to-no trouble at all. He defeated qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka in straight sets 6-0, 7-5, 6-3 to secure his spot in the following round of the tournament. It was a solid win for the Czech, as he has lost his Roland Garros openers on five previous occasions.
“I came into the tournament after a very, very good weeks on the clay, especially, which is very important to me,” said Berdych. “[I’ve] been playing a lot of matches, winning a lot of them, and also in between those weeks I have had very good preparation. So everything has been aimed for this tournament… I definitely want to go and do well.
“I’m feeling well. I’m feeling physically, mentally strong, and that’s the best possible start that I can have. [I] just have to be patient now, keep working for the two weeks and [I will] try to go as far as I can.”
Berdych will next encounter Radek Stepanek in the second round. His fellow countryman earned his slot in Round 2 with a four set victory against Ivan Dodig where he was forced to rally from a set down. He eventually won the match 5-7, 7-3, 6-4, 6-1.
This marks the fourth time that Berdych and Stepanek will cross paths on the professional tour, with the Czech No. 1 leading the head-to-head series 2-1. However, this marks their first meeting on the tour in four years, as well as their firs on clay.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Four Sets