US Open: Tomas Berdych brings up century of Grand Slam wins as he reaches second round
Last Updated: 28/08/14 6:39am
Tomas Berdych reached a personal milestone as he eased past Lleyton Hewitt 6-3 6-4 6-3 in his opening match at this year's US Open.
The sixth seed from the Czech Republic needed two hours and 18 minutes to not only make a winning start to his 2014 campaign in New York but also bring up the 100th Grand Slam victory of his career.
Former champion Hewitt did at least make his opponent work to reach the century; at one stage the 2001 winner led 4-1 in the second set.
However Berdych – who has previously gone as far as the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows - responded to the deficit by winning 11 of the next 14 games. He sent down four aces in the third set and converted three of the nine break-point opportunities that came his way.
"I feel pretty good. It's a tough opponent, a big challenge,” Berdych told the ATP Tour’s website.
“The conditions were extremely tough today. The heat, the wind, and facing Lleyton for the first round, it's nothing that what you really want to have.
"But when you are prepared and feel good, that's a perfect start."
Berdych’s reward is a clash with Martin Klizan - who rallied from two sets down to beat Steve Darcis 3-6 2-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 6-4 on Wednesday – in the second round.
The defeat for Hewitt means he has recorded just one win at the four Slams this year, though he has had far more success elsewhere on the ATP Tour. He remained non-committal when asked about the possibility of him returning to play in the US Open again, replying: "I don't know. I get asked that every week."
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Marin Cilic was able to save energy when opponent Marcos Baghdatis was forced to withdraw midway through the second set of their match.
Cilic – the 14th seed – was already leading 6-3 3-1 at the time. He will now go on to face qualifier Illya Marchenko, who defeated Marco Chiudinelli 7-6 (7/3) 4-6 7-6 (15/13) 7-6 (7/4).
Ivan Dodig was another player to pull out due to injury, a thigh problem for the Croatian allowing 19th seed Feliciano Lopez to progress when the match was at 1-6 7-5 2-6 6-4 1-1.
Seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov was too strong for Ryan Harrison as he raced to a 6-2 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 victory, while No 11 seed Ernests Gulbis routed Kenny De Schepper 6-1 6-4 6-2.
Kevin Anderson, the 18th seed, recovered from two sets to one down to beat Pablo Cuevas 6-3 6-7 (3/7) 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7/1), however 27th-ranked Santiago Giraldo lost to Teimuraz Gabashvili 6-3 1-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-3.
Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka is through to the third round after a 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-1) victory over Thomaz Bellucci.
The Australian Open champion had powered through the first two sets before Bellucci threatened a comeback.
Having won the third set, Bellucci then broke the Swiss again in the fourth set - however Wawrinka, regrouped to set up a clash with Slovenian Blaz Kavcic, who beat 30th seed Jeremy Chardy 6-2 7-6 (8/6) 6-3.