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Berdych vs Herbert ATP Montpellier Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Berdych seeks second final of the season

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 8 Feb 2019
  • Tomas Bercych vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert is live from Montpellier on Saturday, 9 February from 3:00pm local time/ 2:00pm GMT
  • Berdych beat Herbert 6-2 6-4 in their only previous meeting in Doha this year
Tomas Berdych. (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

After narrowly surviving a severe examination by Filip Krajinovic in the quarter finals, Tomas Berdych will attempt to reach his second final of the season on Saturday when he takes on Frenchman, Pierre-Hugues Herbert. 

Berdych extended his perfect record in Montpellier to 7-0 with victory over Krajinovic on Friday, but only after surviving two match points against the Serbian. 

Berdych looked in control when he eked out a set and a break lead in a tight contest, but he failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, and soon found himself trailing by break in the deciding set. Berdych slipped into a 15-40 hole while serving to stay in the match at 3-5, but he extricated himself out of trouble, saving both match points. That proved to be the final turning point of the match as the Czech took the next four games to escape with a 7-6 6-7 7-5 victory after two hours and 43 minutes.

Berdych moved his win tally into double digits with that victory over Krajinovic, as he had earlier reached the final in Doha, and made the fourth round of the Australian Open in a resurgent season, all of these after missing the final six months of 2018 with a back injury.

Playing in Montpellier for just the second time in his career, and the first time since winning the title in 2012, the former world No. 4 began his campaign with a three-set win over Matthias Bachinger, and then breezed past Benoit Paire 6-0 6-2 in the second round, before surviving Friday's stern test from Krajinovic.

The former Wimbledon finalist, who is seeking his first title since October 2016, will attempt to reach his second final of the season when he plays Herbert on Saturday.


Pierre Hugues Herbert. (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Frenchman, Herbert is enjoying a really good start to the season, and has put together three good tournaments. He reached the quarter finals in his season opener in Doha, made the third round of the Australian Open, where he beat former Slam semi-finalists, Sam Querrey and Hyeon Chung before losing to Milos Raonic, and is now into his first semi-final of the season in Montpellier. His good start to the year has taken him to a career-high ranking of 44th, and he is projected to break into the top 40 for the first time next Monday, regardless of the final outcome of his Montpellier campaign. 

He took out Denis Kudla and Ilya Ivashka in the opening two rounds before recording his most impressive win of the week in the third round, beating tournament third seed, Denis Shapovalov 7-5 7-6. The first set alone featured 11 break points, with Shapovalov converting one of three, and Herbert taking two of his eight opportunities, which ultimately led him to the set.

The break points disappeared in the second set as both men tidied up their serves, and it proceeded into a tie break. The breaker was tight up until 4-4, but Shapovalov then threw in a horrendous drop shot to present Herbert with two serves to close out the match. The Frenchman brought up match point with a well-constructed point, moving his opponent from side to side before putting away an easily volley, and he confirmed his spot in the last four with his fourth ace of the match- a big one down the middle.

Herbert is attempting to reach his third tour-level final, having previously made finals Winston-Salem in 2015, and Shenzhen last year. He is yet to win a singles title. He's got a formidable hurdle to cross if he's to make the Montpellier final, as he runs into Berdych on Saturday. It's the second meeting between the pair; their second this year, with Berdych scoring a dominant 6-2 6-4 victory in Doha in the opening week of the year.

Herbert has excelled with his eye-catching serve-and-volley game this week, and he will again live or die by that style on Saturday. The Frenchman has obviously got to serve well to give himself the best chance of finishing points quickly at the net, and winning this match, as he is unlikely to win many baseline exchanges against the relentless heavy-hitting from Berdych. 

Berdych is experienced enough to know what's coming, and as long as he takes care of his serve and stays patient on return, I think he will get his chances to break, and win the match.

Tomas Bercych vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert is live from Montpellier on Saturday, 9 February from 3:00pm local time/ 2:00pm GMT

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Berdych vs Herbert ATP Montpellier Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Berdych seeks second final of the season

Tomas Berdych seeks his second final of the season when he takes on Frenchman, Pierre-Hugues Herbert on Saturday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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