• Berdych outlasts Isner in third-set tiebreaker

    5/21/10 4:08 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Berdych outlasts Isner in third-set tiebreaker Tomas Berdych beats John Isner in three sets to keep the Czech Republic alive at the World Team Cup. The Czechs and Americans will play a decisive doubles match for a spot in the final.

    Tomas Berdych overcame John Isner 1-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) in a must-win situation at the World Team Cup on Friday afternoon in Dusseldorf, Germany. With the Czech Republic trailing the United States 1-0 in matches, Berdych kept his country alive by prevailing in two hours and 16 minutes.

    The world No. 17, however, got off to a dismal start. He served at just 47 percent in the first set and was broken twice. Isner saved three break points early in the match before closing out the opening frame of play on serve at 5-1.

    From there, however, the momentum shifted. Berdych returned the 6-1 favor in set two as his opponent did not hold serve a single time. The Czech gave a break back at 2-0, but he won the next four games with ease to force a third.

    Finally, both players started to hold serve in more comfortable fashion. Isner fought off four break points early in the final set and both players held the entire way en route to a tiebreaker. Berdych dropped very few points on serve throughout the set and he maintained control in the 'breaker. He struck for the first mini-break at 2-1 and cruised the rest of the way, taking it seven points to four.

    Berdych double-faulted four times and served at a mere 47 percent, but he made up for it with stellar baseline play. Isner fired nine aces against just two double-faults, but he won only 35 percent of the points in which he had to toss in a second offering.

    The Red Group--and a spot in the World Team Cup final--will come down to a doubles match that is expected to pit Americans Bob and Mike Bryan against Czechs Jan Hajek and Lukas Dlouhy.

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