A test of nerve

BNP Paribas Masters, Paris

Men’s Semifinal: [CR5] Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs. [CR10] Milos Raonic (CAN)

Raonic had a battle on his hands; a determined Berdych would not stay down. They split the first two sets, each winning with just one break; thus, the match would be decided in the third set. Who would crack first?

The final set and the tie-break test the mettle of a player and it never helps if you are the player serving from behind.   Berdych was affected more by nerves in the third; he made more errors off the ground and all his double faults came in this set.  Raonic served better, was more composed, and executed his plan better than Berdych.  He sensed that Berdych was feeling the pressure as he struggled on serve and it was only a matter of time before he gave him an opportunity.  Raonic got that chance in the twelfth game of the set as the tension mounted and Berdych caved, making too many unforced errors to hold his serve.

Raonic won 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in a very competitive match and he goes on to the final of a prestigious Masters 1000 event while Berdych goes home to ponder his inability to handle the stress. Losing a match is never easy; however, if Berdych wants to improve, he has to learn not only from his victories, but more so from his losses.


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