LONDON, November 12 2014: Tomas Berdych will play World No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Friday in a bid to qualify for the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. He has a 2-16 record against the two-time defending champion, including a 6-0, 6-2 loss in last month’s China Openfinal.
Sixth seed Berdych improved his chances of reaching the last four, for the second time, on his fifth appearance at The O2 in London when he defeated this yearâ€™s US Open champion Marin Cilic, the eighth seed, 6-3, 6-1 in 75 minutes on Wednesday afternoon. Berdych extended his perfect 5-0 record in his second round robin matches at the event.
“I felt much better on the court,” said Berdych. “But still it was not one of my best. That’s fair to say. But I think that’s the beauty of this event. One day you can be swept out from the court like I did and in two days’ time you can come up and you can play a different tennis.
“There were no miracles in that time in between the matches. But I had a good practise session yesterday, good rest, refocused again, and went for another match. More importantly, stay confident with self belief, really just keep on going, keep on pushing. You have to work hard for it.”
Cilic recovered from 0/40 in the opening game, which lasted 12 points, but could not deny Berdych. The Croatian then saved two break points at 15/40, 2-4, prior to coming close to drawing level. Berdych, ultimately, stepped into the court and played with greater aggression to break Cilicâ€™s serve for a second time to clinch the 43-minute opener.
Cilic continued to press, but groundstrokes errors cost him. Berdych broke twice in the fourth and sixth games of the second set en route to his 55th match win of the year. Berdych saved two break points when serving for the match at 5-1. The Czech broke a two-match losing streak against Cilic in their fourth meeting of the season.
Cilic, who has lifted four trophies this year, drops to a 54-20 match record this season. He lost to Djokovic in his opening match on Monday.
“It seems that the things that I’m doing that are all basically going in a wrong direction,” said Cilic. “Especially with these guys at this kind of level, even small mistakes, or if you’re not at your best performances, the outcome is not going to be going in your favor. It’s unfortunate. I was looking forward to play here, to do well, to play good matches on a high level. It’s tough to handle.