Tomas Berdych wins 2nd title of 2012
The sixth-ranked Czech saved seven of nine break-point chances in the hard-fought match to improve to 3-1 against Tsonga and add to his win in February in Montpellier, France. Berdych now has eight career titles -- including winning more than one in a season for the first time.
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"It feels pretty good ... this season has been really solid," Berdych said.
He saved a break point to hold serve for 5-4 in the deciding set. In the following game, Tsonga then saved two match points by hitting an ace and a winner but ultimately lost on a double fault.
"I just tried to stay positive until the end and tried to take points one by one," Berdych said. "I'm happy to turn it (the match) around, it makes the win even more special."
Berdych is aiming to make it into next month's London Finals, after which he will be part of the team to take on Spain in the Davis Cup final.
"To qualify into London is special, this is the one where you have to play well all year to get into the tournament. I'm hoping to make it for the third year in a row."
In the first set, thanks to some patient baseline play, Tsonga forced the hard-hitting Berdych into making mistakes and eventually broke the Czech to 3-2 on his fourth break point.
With some powerful serving and aggressive play, Tsonga went on to clinch the opening set 6-4.
He proceeded to break Berdych in the opening game of the second set, and then held his serve until 4-3. Berdych gradually found his groove and finally broke back to 4-4, then reeled off the next two games to take the set.
In a tight deciding set, both players fought off several break points, with both managing to hold serves until the 10th game, where Tsonga's serving finally let him down.
"I feel bad," said a disappointed Tsonga, the stronger player for a set and a half. "I think we played a great match and I had many opportunities. I did some wrong things, but I gave my best tennis and I lost, so I have nothing to regret."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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