Mon, October 06, 2008
Sports > Tennis & Golf

Berdych defeats Del Potro to win Japan Open

2008-10-06 06:59:07 GMT2008-10-06 14:59:07 (Beijing Time) China Daily

Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic poses with his victory trophy after defeating Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during their final match at the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo October 5, 2008. [Agencies]

Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic returns the ball to Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during their final match at the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo October 5, 2008. [Agencies]

Tomas Berdych (L) of Czech Republic and Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina pose with their trophies after their final match at the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo October 5, 2008. [Agencies]

Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina returns the ball to Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic during their final match at the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo October 5, 2008. [Agencies]

TOKYO - Tomas Berdych claimed his first singles title for 16 months with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Juan Martin Del Potro on Sunday to win the Japan Open.

The ninth-seeded Czech relied on strong serves and solid groundstrokes to beat the Argentine, whose was not able to show the form that had seen him win 29 of 30 matches going into the final.

"At this level of tennis, it's important to be consistent," said the 23-year-old Berdych, who had 11 aces. "I was able to do that all week and am thrilled to win the title."

After struggling for much of this season, Berdych said he's starting to get his game back. He reached the semifinals of the Bangkok Open last month.

"In today's tennis everything is so close and tough," said Berdych. "It's all about having confidence on the court. If you win one or two matches everything can come together."

Berdych coasted through the first set, then broke to go ahead 2-1 in the second set.

Del Potro fought back, lobbing the Czech to cut the lead to 5-4, but Berdych held serve in the final game to take the fifth title of his career.

Del Potro, seeded fifth, was looking to win his fifth title of the year but got off to a shaky start and wasn't able to recover.

He took some medicine for his stomach during the first set.

"I was a little confused with his game," said Del Potro. "After the first set, I started to play a little better but it was too late. I didn't have a chance to do anything with his game."

Berdych defeated second-seeded Andy Roddick in the semifinals to reach Sunday's final. Del Potro had defeated top-seeded David Ferrer in the quarterfinals before advancing to the final with a win over last year's runner-up Richard Gasquet of France.

In the women's event, top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki defeated fifth-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. It was the Dane's third singles title in as many months, having claimed events in Stockholm and New Haven

"She was serving really well in the second set and had the advantage," said Wozniacki. "I just tried to step it up in the third set and play better on my return and it worked out for me".

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