Following an impressive start to his 2015 season – one that saw him end a 17-match losing sreak to Rafael Nadal en route to the semi-final round of the Australian Open – Tomas Berdych is looking to build on that momentum with strong showings in Rotterdam. His next match-up is against Gael Monfils, whom he holds a 3-1 lead in the head-to-head series.
The third seed at the tournament took part in a surprisingly turbulent second round encounter against Andreas Seppi at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. He eventually downed his Italian adversary 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarter-final stage of the event. As the defending champion at the event, Berdych is satisfied with his performance – one that included 10 aces and four breaks of serve in 1 hour and 28 minutes.
“I think it was a very solid game today,” said Berdych. “The opponent was not easy at all. I had my game plan, which worked perfectly from the beginning. He just started to play much better and took his chance, the only one he had in the second set. But in the third set, I was able to finish it, get my chances and execute.”
In typical swashbuckling fashion, Gael Monfils ousted seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to move into his second quarter-final of the season following a strong showing in Montpellier last week. The Frenchman struck nine aces to close out the match 7-5, 7-6(5) in one-hour and 41-minute match.
This marks the fifth time that Berdych and Monfils will cross paths on the ATP World Tour, with Berdych leading the series 3-1. Monfils won their most recent encounter in the 2013 French Open, but remains 0-2 against the Czech No. 1 on hard courts. It will be interesting to see if he can overturn that record this time around in Rotterdam.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Three Sets