Photo via Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Berdych, the No4 seed in Dubai, was taken the distance by Simone Bolelli on Wednesday before becoming just the eighth active player to hit the 500 victories mark, beating the in-form Italian 7-6 (7) 5-7, 6-0 in two hours and 24 minutes to advance to the quarter-finals.
“It feels great. But we just talked about it last night with (my coach) Dani (Vallverdu), that I just need to really make sure that I keep my body fresh and let's make another 500. Let's try to chase Roger now,” Berdych said with a laugh.
“This (1000 wins) is really something too far. It's a good sign, just try to keep hitting more and more and be strong for tomorrow. That's it.”
The match with Bolelli was a tight affair with neither player managing to make a break of serve for the first 24 games.
Berdych had two arguments with Lahyani during the match, the first came in the opening set where he was hoping to break for 5-4, but the other one had a greater effect late in the second set.
Serving to stay alive in set two at 5-6, 15-30, Berdych won a Hawk-Eye appeal but instead of being awarded the point, Lahyani called for a replay. A frazzled Berdych then double-faulted giving two set points to Bolelli, who took the set and levelled the match.
Berdych’s response was a 6-0 blitz in the decider and the 29-year-old admits it was a frustrating affair.
“I would say that actually was needed for me. I felt that I need to put some steam out and get it done and probably lost the second set because of that. But the outcome, it's much better. I got the rhythm back. I had a great third set, and I think it was worth it,” said Berdych, who faces Sergiy Stakhovsky in the quarter-finals today.
Asked to discuss his arguments with Lahyani, Berdych said: “It's always going to be about the decision of the chair umpire. That's how we deal with that situation, so in the end I have to respect that.”
At one point, Berdych had looked like he was disagreeing with Hawk-Eye, but again the world No8 would not dwell on whether the technology was accurate or not.
“I think it's quite silly to talk about it, because we all have to respect that. It doesn't work the way that whatever you see on the court that's what the Hawk Eye said, so it's how it is and it's better not to talk about it and just leave it as it is,” added the two-time Dubai runner-up.