Djokovic Struggled Through

BNP Paribas Masters, Paris

[CR1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [CR5] Tomas Berdych (CZE)

It was a much better effort from Berdych; however, it was not enough. Despite playing poorly for the second consecutive day, Djokovic struggled through to victory. When you consider how many opportunities he gave Berdych to defeat him, it is a testament of the mental block Berdych has when he plays against Djokovic.  Berdych was not able to implement the changes in his game necessary to defeat Djokovic for the third time.  At this point one wonders if the repeated losses have created too dense a mental block for Berdych to overcome and this in turn prevents his from focusing clearly during their matches. 

It’s very difficult to overcome the reality of losing nineteen times to an opponent; however, Berdych should be familiar with that obstacle. He had a seventeen match losing streak against Rafael Nadal, with a losing head-to-head record of 3:18; yet, at this year’s  Australian Open, Berdych put on a commanding display of dominance when he defeated Nadal 6-2, 6-0, 7-6(5).  It was not his best performance; however, champions have learned to win despite not playing their best tennis and Djokovic did so today with his 7-6(3), 7-6(8) defeat of Berdych. Will Berdych ever figure out how to beat Djokovic again?

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