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Juan Martin Del Potro comes into the tournament as the only man outside the top 3 to have won a Grand Slam in seven years. Del Potro recently that “it is important to be ready when opportunities present themselves” and this is a huge opportunity for the Argentine to take that Grand Slam tally to two.
Placed at No.9 in the ATP rankings, Del Potro has not been able to live up to his billing since winning his maiden Grand Slam at the US Open in 2009. The 23-year old Argentine has 10 career titles to his name and has managed to win two titles this year as well - one in Marseille and the other at the Estoril Open. At the Aussie Open in January, he fell to Roger Federer in the quarters. His win-loss record stands at 34-8, which characterizes his form this year. Del Potro’s best result here came in 2009 when he reached the semis, he was beaten yet once more by the Swiss Maestro in a pulsating five setter.
In his last match Del Potro humbled the mercurial Marin Cilic in three unchallenged sets 6-3,7-6,6-3.
On the other side of the court, Berdych has been consistent this year. While he has only won one event in Montpellier, he has made the quarterfinal and semifinal stages of almost all events he has participated in till now. The Czech did however, fall short of expectations at Indian Wells and then at the Miami Masters too where he was eliminated in the pre-quarters and round two respectively. A resurgent Berdych came back well at the Monte-Carlo Masters, where he took the first set off of World No.1 Novak Djokovic, before the Serb came back to win that semifinal 4-6,6-3,6-2.
The former Wimbledon finalist has then reached the finals in Madrid where he was within points of beating Federer, before the Swiss came back to win. At the Rome Masters, Berdych again looked in superb form in Rome too, but he met Rafael Nadal in the quarters unfortunately, who beat him after two hard fought sets. Berdych really looks like the only guy who can beat the top three on tour. Berdych has a win-loss record of 34-10 this year and will be looking forward to winning his second tournament this year.
Berdych is coming off a marathon five setter, against Kevin Anderson of South Africa, and that really could play a part in the match. The Czech though has a fantastic 14 wins in 21 five setters.
These two have met five times over the course of their careers, and the Argentine leads 3 to 2. Their last meeting though was in Madrid which the Czech won 7-6, 7-6.
TennisEarth picks a hard fought 4 set win for Berdych.
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