The Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych closed out a match with an ace for the second time in three daysousting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France from the semifinals of the 2011 China Openin three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in late action Saturday.
Berdych, the 26-year-old Czech, used hisserve to apply constant pressure, scoring eight aces and forcing Tsonga, also26, into 25 unforced errors that proved to be the difference in the match that lasted just over two hours.
One-seeded Tsonga and third-seeded Berdych,who are No. 7 and No. 10 ranked in men’s singles respectively, played even,holding serve through the first nine games of the first set before Berdych finally broke Tsonga in the tenth to take the set 6-4.
The second set started off strangely for Berdych tallying two aces and two double faults before an unforced error from Tsonga put him up 1-0.
Tsonga bounced back with two aces of hisown in the second game allowing Berdych to win only one point before evening the set at one game a piece.
The two continued to hold serve through thenext six games until Tsonga finally scored his first break of the match in the ninth game of the set on a ball hit out long by Berdych. During the game the two shared one nifty exchange at the net trading three straight quick volleys inthe air before Tsonga knocked home a cross-court forehand winner.
Tsonga would take the set on the next point, 6-4, to tie the match at one set each.
Berdych would dominate the third set,breaking Tsonga twice and scoring four aces, including one that would end theset at 6-1.
After knocking home the final ace Berdych pumped both fists and hit his extra ball high into the seats.
With the victory Berdych becomes the only remaining seeded player in the tournament at No. 3.
In the post-match press conference Berdych looked ahead to his finals match against Croatian Marin Cilic who defeated IvanLjubicic 6-4, 6-3 earlier in the day.
“This match could really change my season from good season to really good season,” he said.