Oeiras, Portugal, May 02 (QNA) – Top seed Tomas Berdych survived a quarter-final scare on Friday at the Portugal Open in Oeiras, but second seed Milos Raonic was not so fortunate.
Berdych fought from a set down to beat Argentine qualifier Leonardo Mayer 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes. The Czech was broken five times, but countered with six service breaks of his own and finished with three points more than Mayer to claim his second win over the Argentine.
“I respect every opponent I play,” said Berdych. “Leonardo was playing well. He can hit the ball very hard and strong. It was really up and down today, but in the end, finally, I re-focused myself and brought my best tennis in the last three or four games.”
The 28-year-old Berdych is looking to find his clay-court form after a third-round exit two weeks ago at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. The right-hander is looking to add to the ATP World Tour title he won in Rotterdam in February (d. Cilic). He goes on to face Victor Hanescu after the Romanian ended the challenge of Portuguese wild card Gastao Elias with a 6-1, 7-5 victory.
Raonic was unable to rally against Carlos Berlocq, losing 7-5, 6-4 to the Argentine. World No. 62 Berlocq won 40 per cent of points against the famed Raonic serve and broke the Canadian four times to claim victory in 86 minutes.
At 31 years old, Berlocq recorded his first Top 10 win. “I’m very happy, with a lot of emotion,” said Berlocq. “One of my goals before retiring was to get a win against a Top 10 player. So, today is very special for me.
“The key was being decisive and having the concentration to follow my game plan. My return game was good. I played against him before on grass and hard court and I didn’t have success playing close to the baseline. But today we were on clay and I returned his serve behind the baseline. I had pretty good results.”
“I wasn’t mentally strong when I needed to be,” said Raonic. “I allowed him to get into it and I became a bit too predictable. I think a lot of things need to improve and I think they will, over time.”
Berlocq goes on to face qualifier Daniel Gimeno-Traver, who won an all-Spanish clash to upset third seed Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-2. (QNA)