Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London commenced today with a duel between fifth seed Tomas Berdych and seventh-seeded Stan Wawrinka in Group A. The 28-year old Swiss, who is participating at his debut season finale, got the contest underway with a hold to love and was the first to produce a break point in the sixth game – he took advantage of the opportunity which enabled him to serve for the set at 5-3. The initial pair of set points was denied before the Czech got into position to break back, but to no avail – Wawrinka then created three more set point opportunities to finally seize the opener thirty-eight minutes into the match. Berdych did not score any aces up to that point.
In the second set Stan got himself into real trouble in the eighth game where he needed to climb out of a 0-40 hole which he did with support of couple of successive aces. His first serve again worked like a charm at 5-4* when he smashed three aces to stay in the set, yet his game collapsed in the subsequent tie-break where he was outclassed by the rival – it was one set a piece.
The Swiss number two was the only player to generate break points in the decider and he converted on the second one to pull 3-1 ahead. He then held to love twice in a row to come only one service game away from the historic triumph – while he could not find his first serve during the ninth game, the Czech gifted him a match point after sending a backhand wide. Another Berdych’s error would follow, allowing Wawrinka to seal the clash by winning 6-3, 6-7 (0), 6-3 after two hours and twenty-five minutes of tennis in the O2 Arena. This was his record 50th victory of the year.
In the end, Berdych had 16 aces in his statistics, but will be less happy about conceding eight double faults. Today’s contestants will now try their luck against higher seeded Spaniards Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer in the following two rounds in Group A
“Losing is not a good start,” said Berdych. “But there are still two other matches to go. It was a very close game again. Stan was better in actually like executing the chances. He had four break points, make two. I had five, make zero. I think that’s been really a big difference today.”