Berdych ends 29-month title drought with China Open

Beijing: Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic claimed his first title in 29 months after winning the China Open tennis here Sunday, defeating big serving Croat Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

It was Berdych`s maiden title here and the sixth ATP title of his career.

The current world No. 10 eliminated Jurgen Melzer, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Fernando Verdasco and No. 1 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga enroute to the final.

"This (win) really means really a lot to me," Berdych said. "Twenty-nine months was quite a long time, so I am happy that I could break this up."

The top player from the Czech Republic started the final match in a passive manner, allowing Cilic a 3-0 lead. Although Berdych kept his serve in the fourth game, he missed his only chance to break in the seventh game. Cilic powered an ace to finish the first set.

The third seed found back his rhythm in the second set, taking a 3-0 lead after the first three games. However, the former China Open runner-up accomplished a break back after Berdych sent a forehand long, and then held his serve game to level the score to 4-4.

The ninth game of the second set turned out to be the most crucial for Berdych. Cilic, who saw the hope of taking the title, got himself two break points in the game.

However, Berdych wasn`t beaten by the huge pressure. He delivered a couple of big serves and sealed the most important point of the set. Cilic failed in his own service game after the score went to 5-4, eventually losing the set.

Berdych got rejuvenated in the final set, knocking down five straight games to put an end to the more than two hour contest.

Berdych is eying a spot in the ATP finals in London.

"There are still few tournaments left in the season which are going to be really important,” he said while referring to Shanghai and the Paris event.


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