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Berdych vs Paire ATP Montpellier Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Former champion, Berdych seeks fourth straight win over Paire, and a spot in the quarter-finals

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 5 Feb 2019
  • Tomas Berdych vs Benoit Paire is live from Montpellier on Wednesday, 6 February from 3:30pm local time/ 2:30pm GMT
  • Berdych has won all three previous meetings
Tomas Berdych. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Former world No. 4, Tomas Berdych continues his bid for a second Montpellier title when he takes on Frenchman, Benoit Paire in the second round on Wednesday. 

Berdych is looking to continue a resurgent season, after missing the second half of 2018 due to a back injury. The former Wimbledon finalist made an impressive re-entry into the tour in Doha at the beginning of 2019, beating Philipp Kohlschreiber, Fernando Verdasco, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Marco Cecchinato to make the final (which he lost to Roberto Bautista-Agut), and he carried on that excellent form at the Australian Open, taking down Kyle Edmund, Robin Haase and Diego Schwartzman before falling to Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

Back in Montpellier for the first time since his title-winning run in his debut appearance in 2012, Berdych opened his 2019 account with a hard-earned victory over Matthias Bachinger, battling back from a set down to beat the German qualifier and stretch his record at the tournament to 5-0.

Despite fighting back from a break down twice, and saving two set points in an untidy first set, Berdych lost the set 5-7, but the Czech found his range in the latter half of the second set, winning the last four games to even the match. Berdych emerged on the right end of a three-break swing midway through the deciding set to lead 4-2, but he had to fend off one last push from Bachinger when he served out the match, saving two more break back points before converting his fourth match point to pull off the 5-7 6-3 6-3 victory.

The former top-ten mainstay, who finished inside the top ten for seven consecutive seasons between 2010 and 2016 is now down at No. 79 in the world due to his lengthy injury lay-off but on the evidence of the opening month of the season, Berdych will soon find his way to more familiar regions higher up the world rankings. He's got a tricky one to navigate in Montpellier on Wednesday as he confronts the mercurial Paire.


Benoît Paire. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
Paire is a former finalist in Montpellier (in 2013, when he was beaten by Richard Gasquet), and has reached at least the quarter finals in each of the last two seasons, and he made a confident start to his 2019 bid, beating Russia's Evgeny Donskoy 7-5 6-3 on Tuesday. 

The Frenchman saved a break point in the opening game of the match, but he was untroubled on serve through the rest of the first set. He missed a set point as Donskoy served at 4-5, but got his break at 5-6, converting his third set point to take the opener. Paire broke again for 4-2 in the second set, and after saving a couple of break back points in the next game, he went on to close out the win after an hour and 14 minutes.

The 29-year-old is seeking his second quarter final of the season, having made the last eight in the opening week of the year in Pune, where he lost to Gilles Simon. He followed that up with successive first round exits in Auckland and the Australian Open, where he lost a thrilling five setter against Dominic Thiem. He then had a dip into the Challengers, reaching the quarter finals in Rennes before his latest campaign in Montpellier. 

Paire reached No. 18 in the world at the start of 2016, but he has spent a hefty amount of time outside the top 40 since then, including all of last season, when he peaked at 41st, dropped as low as 63rd, and finished at 52nd in the world. He had actually had a decent start to 2018, making consecutive semi-finals in Pune and Sydney, and the last eight in Montpellier, but he did not reach a single quarter final for the rest of the year.

Can the enigmatic Frenchman reach the Montpellier quarter finals for the third year running on Wednesday?

He will have to do what he's never done before- beat Tomas Berdych, who has won all three previous encounters, dropping just one set in the process. There is no absolutely no debate over whether Paire has the ability to beat Berdych- he does- but the Czech operates with greater discipline and consistency, and has been playing better this year, which is why he will likely stretch his advantage over the Frenchman to 4-0 on Wednesday.

Tomas Berdych vs Benoit Paire is live from Montpellier on Wednesday, 6 February from 3:30pm local time/ 2:30pm GMT

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Berdych vs Paire ATP Montpellier Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Former champion, Berdych seeks fourth straight win over Paire, and a spot in the quarter-finals

Tomas Berdych continues his quest for a second Montpellier title on Wednesday when he plays the enigmatic Benoit Paire. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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