World No. 7 Tomas Berdych will look to rebound from his second round loss at Indian Wells with a strong showing at the Sony Open over the next two weeks. His first scheduled match-up is is against France’s Stephane Robert, who has previously beaten him in their only other meeting on the professional tour.
Although Berdych is coming off a disappointing display at Indian Wells, where he lost his opening match against Roberto Baustista Agut, he is not without his fair share of wins this season. With a 16-4 record so far this season, Berdych has reached the final of two events – Rotterdam and Dubai – winning the former in the process. He also reached the Australian Open semi-final, where he lost to eventual champion Stanislas Wawrinka. He will look to regain his momentum with a strong showing here in Miami.
World No. 90 Stephane Robert reached the second round of the Sony Open with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Bogomolov Jr. Following his extraordinary fortnight in Melbourne, where he reached the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing to Andy Murray, Robert has been unable to get to the second round of any tournament until this week. He lost in the opening round in Vina del Mar, Acapulco and Indian Wells, while failing to qualify for Rio and Buenos Aires. He holds a 4-4 ATP World Tour record this season.
Berdych and Robert are not unfamiliar with each other, as the Frenchman holds a 1-0 lead in the head-to-head series, having won their previous encounter at the 2011 French Open. It was gruelling contest that went the distance, with a final scoreline of 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-2 9-7. Considering that meeting took place on clay nearly three years ago, it is unlikely it will have any significant impact on the outcome tomorrow afternoon. Berdych has fluctuated over the past couple of years but is consistent against opposition outside the Top 10 and will likely overcome Robert in straight sets.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Straight Sets