Tomas Berdych snaps title drought in Rotterdam

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Rotterdam, Netherlands (4E Sports) – World No. 7 Tomas Berdych snapped a 16-month title drought as he dominated Marin Cilic en route to a 6-4, 6-2 win in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

The title was Berdych’s ninth tour-level crown but his first since beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Stockholm in 2012. Since then, he lost in all three finals appearance last year.

Despite reaching the quarter-finals or better in 15 of his 23 tournaments last season, the Czech was the only player in the Top 10 not to win a title.

“It feels absolutely amazing,” said Berdych, who became the first Czech to win in Rotterdam since Radek Stepanek in 2006. “It’s been a while, actually 16 months since I won a title. To win a title in Rotterdam it’s a nice bonus.”

Berdych hammered nine aces and won an impressive 76 per cent of service points. He fired 20 winners and benefitted from 22 unforced errors by Cilic to claim the victory in 75 minutes.

Berdych extends his head-to-head advantage over Cilic to 5-2 overall and 3-1 on hard courts. Their lone meeting last year came at Queen’s Club in London, with the Croat prevailing in straight sets in the quarter-finals.

With the win, Berdych pocketed takes home $330,750 and 500 ATP Ranking points, vaulting himself to No. 6 in the world. Cilic garners $149,135 and 300 ATP Ranking points.

In Argentina, top seed David Ferrer became the first player to win three straight Copa Claro titles, defeating second seed Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3 in the final on Sunday in Buenos Aires.

World No. 5 Ferrer ended a seven-match losing streak in tour-level finals, winning his first title since last year’s Copa Claro and his 21st overall.

With his 11th clay-court crown, the 31 year old moved into a third-place tie with fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo on the title leaders list, behind Rafael Nadal (42) and Nicolas Almagro (12).

On the women’s side, Simona Halep captured the biggest WTA title of her career on Sunday, beating Angelique Kerber in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, to win the Qatar Total Open in Doha.

The No.7-seeded Halep broke at love in the very first game of the match and never really looked back, eventually breaking serve four times – and holding all eight of her own service games en route to a 66-minute win.

Halep’s win over Kerber was her third Top 10 win of the week, having also beaten Sara Errani and Agnieszka Radwanska the last two rounds. It was also the first time Halep has beaten three Top 10 players at the same tournament. She is currently on a six-match winning streak against Top 10 players.

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