Berdych to play Raonic for Thailand Open 2013 title

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Second seed Frenchman Richard Gasquet (Player Profile) will not be defending his Thailand Open title in tomorrow’s final in Bangkok as he lost out to Milos Raonic (Player Profile) in three sets. Gasquet did not face any break point threats in the opening set, whilst he stole the Canadian’s serve in the sixth game and claimed the set after holding to love. No break points were generated in the second set until the twelfth game when the French number two was serving to force a tie-break, but he eventually got broken to love and the decider was required to tell the athletes apart. The big-serving Canadian fended off a couple of break points over the course of the final set before seizing his adversary’s service game when the latter was serving to keep the semi-final match alive – Raonic thus completed his comeback to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 after slightly less than two hours of tennis. He helped his cause by hitting 23 aces against Gasquet’s 6.

Last year’s runner up Gilles Simon (Player Profile), who came to the tournament on the heels of his last week’s success in Metz, fell short against top seed Tomas Berdych (Player Profile) who thus got one step closer to lifting his first trophy in 2013. Each of the players converted one of their six break points in the opener which ultimately went to the tie-break – a neck and neck battle continued in the thirteenth game until the fourth seed Frenchman took advantage of the very first set point. The Czech then regrouped for the following set in which he broke his opponent three times to level the terms and set the stage for the third set drama. Simon grabbed the initial break in the decider, yet Berdych got back into the match by 2-2 and was in a touching distance of a victory after breaking to love in the eleventh game. The Frenchman kept fighting relentlessly, but he wasted three break points and enabled his opponent to put an exclamation mark on the match – Berdych won 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-5, having spent almost three hours on the hard court in Bangkok. Raonic was victorious in their only previous encounter last year in the round of 16 at Cincinnati Masters.

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