Tomas Berdych eased his way into the second round of the Japan Open with a 6-1, 7-6 victory over France's Benoît Paire yesterday. Second seed Berdych almost inflicted the dreaded "bagel" on Paire in the first set until the Frenchman finally held serve in the sixth game but the Czech was pushed in the second.
Berdych, who beat Juan Martin del Potro to win the 2008 Tokyo title, took the second set on a tiebreak 8-6 to close out the match. "I was surprised at how the first set went," said Berdych, who is currently seventh in the race to make the elite eight-man World Tour Finals having qualified for the season-ending shoot-out the past two years. "I hope if I can continue to play like this it will qualify me for London."
Britain's Andy Murray begins the defence of his title against Gaël Monfils of France today.