Anything odd about Berdych’s French Open chances?

History suggests Tomas Berdych is one to avoid following at the French Open this year, but his performance in reaching the Monte Carlo Masters final hinted he should not be quickly dismissed when it comes to Roland Garros.

The Czech was beaten in three sets by Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo and he pushed the world No.1 all the way, with unforced errors not helping his chances of pulling off a shock victory. But, in what was the first tournament of the European clay-court season, it offered plenty of encouragement for Berdych when it comes to the French Open, where he has a mixed record.

Berdych’s best run in Paris came in 2010 when he beat a bad-tempered Andy Murray in the last 16 before losing in five sets to Robin Soderling in the semi-finals. Last year, he advanced to the quarter-finals before being beaten in straight sets by Ernests Gulbis.

However, the fascinating feature of Berdych’s French Open record is that he tends to struggle at Roland Garros when the year ends in an odd number, which on that basis does not make positive reading for his 2015 chances.

In 2013, Berdych suffered a first-round defeat by Gael Monfils and he was beaten at the same stage by Stephane Robert in 2011 after holding a two-set lead. Another five-setter was Berdych’s undoing in 2009 in the first round when he recovered from a two-set deficit to level before going out against Simone Bolelli. And, in 2007, Berdych was beaten in straight sets in the first round by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

So, if Berdych can overcome that slightly unusual statistic and progress past the first round this year, then his price of 33/1 with betfair to win the French Open at the time this article was produced could look generous, if he lands in the right half of the draw. That is exactly what happened in Monte Carlo, where Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer were all in the other side of the draw. Berdych was in control of his quarter-final before Milos Raonic retired and he thrashed Roger Federer’s conqueror Monfils 6-1, 6-4 in the semi-finals.

Following his defeat by Djokovic in the final, Berdych acknowledged he is missing one step in his clay game, but he has time to work on that as he is missing the Barcelona Open.

He reached the final on clay in Madrid three years ago, losing to Federer, and has won tournaments in Palermo and Munich on that surface. Berdych has also reached three finals already so far this year.

Against the top players, Berdych does often fall a little short, but he has the game to test the best and he has a chance of reaching his second Grand Slam final after losing to Nadal at Wimbledon in 2010 when he had beaten Federer and Djokovic in earlier rounds.


This article was submitted by Betfair and was not written by TennisReporters.net writers.

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