Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych is just one match away from retaining his title that he won last year at Rotterdam’s ABN AMRO ATP 500 Tournament. His opponent will be Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka, who is playing here for the first time after 10 years. Berdych has been deeply focused from the start of the tournament and in the semifinal, he made short work of Frenchman Gilles Simon, taking just under an hour for his two-set victory. The after-effects of Berdych’s fall in his quarterfinal match against Gael Monfils did not show in his flawless game against Simon. Stan Wawrinka, on the other hand, had a harder time against a tenacious Canadian Milos Raonic in two sets, both of which were decided in tiebreaks. Wawrinka has never won on indoor hard courts and his only final appearance was in 2007 at Vienna, where he lost the final to Novak Djokovic. The men’s doubles crown on Saturday was won by the third-seeded pair of Jean-Julien Rojer (the Netherlands) and Horia Tecau (Romania), who defeated Jamie Murray (England) and John Peers (Australia) in the final that got stretched to the match tiebreak.
All through the week, Tomas Berdych has played powerful tennis and at no time did he look anyone less than the true champion. In his semifinal match, the Czech had absolutely no difficulty in getting past the eighth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-1 in 58 minutes. So dominating was Berdych that he won 22 of his 23 service points, converted 4 out of 5 break opportunities and sent down 14 winners. Simon could only take three games away from the defending champion, who is barely two wins away from 500 ATP World-Tour career victories. He looks certain of retaining his Rotterdam Open title that he won in 2014. For his last hurdle, however, the 29-year old Czech must beat Stan Wawrinka in the final on Sunday.
In the other semifinal, Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka had a tough match against Canada’s Milos Raonic. Coming back to Rotterdam after a gap of 10 years, the Swiss has so far had a great tournament too. It will be Wawrinka’s 18th tour-level final but the Swiss has never won on the indoor hard courts. The closest he ever came was in Vienna in 2007, when he lost to Djokovic in the final. In a close semifinal match against Raonic on Saturday, Wawrinka served 10 booming aces, hit 25 winners and saved every one of the six break points that he faced in a 98-minute battle with the Canadian. Playing with great composure and accuracy, Wawrinka denied Raonic two chances in the second set that would have leveled the set score. The Swiss finally scored a 7-6, 7-6 win. With the victory completed, Wawrinka now has a 4-0 record against Raonic. On Sunday, Stan Wawrinka would like to improve his 10-5 record against the Czech. But he also knows that against the confident Berdych, he will have bring out his best tennis performance on Sunday.
In the men’s doubles final played on Saturday, the Dutch/Romanian pair of Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau defeated Jamie Murray of England and John Peers of Australia in the final that got stretched to the match tiebreak. While Rojer/Tecau reached the final on Friday after beating Germany’s Andre Begemann and Netherlands’ Robin Haase 7-6, 6-3; Murray/Peers overcame a tough challenge before defeating the English/Romanian pair of Dominic Inglot and Florin Mergea 4-6, 6-3, 10-8. In the final on Saturday, Rojer/Tecau lost the first set 3-6 but bounced back in the match to take the second set 6-3. They held their nerves in the closing stages tiebreak before winning the match 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.
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