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Berdych wins twice, regains confidence

Roger FedererSony Corp.Evgeny KorolevBNP Paribas

Tomas Berdych was in a funk. The No. 22 player in the world had won just five of 11 matches in 2009 and had lost to the 478th-ranked player at the time.

But there's nothing like two wins in one day — and a double dose of confidence — to get you back on track.

Because rain wiped out the entire schedule on Wednesday at the BMW Tennis Championship, Berdych was forced to play twice Thursday. Nevertheless, the tournament's top seed sliced through the competition to advance to the quarterfinals.

Early into his first game Thursday, it was clear Berdych was back on track. He allowed Frenchman Nicolas Devilder only 12 points in the deciding second set while rampaging to a 6-1, 6-0 victory.

"It looks easy, but it was a good match for me," said Berdych, who was coming off an early exit from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.

After a slow start to his second match Thursday night, Berdych dusted a frustrated Marc Gicquel 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Berdych's poor run this year began after a heartbreaking five-set loss to Roger Federer in the Australian Open. Since then, he had lost four of five matches, including a second-round match to Vince Troicki at Indian Wells.

"It's good that I could leave it in California and come here and make some good preparation for Miami [next week's Sony Ericsson Open] and play a couple of matches," Berdych said. "I just wanted to ask for the opportunity to play here. The draw, it's not like a Challenger. ... It's quite a tough tournament."

Thursday's rain seemed to spoil the day for Evgeny Korolev.

Korolev was leading second seed Rainer Schuettler when the match was suspended. After nearly a one-hour delay, Schuettler rallied to win 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Former Australian Open winner Thomas Johansson lost 6-4, 6-0 to qualifier Denis Gremelmayr. Johansson, ranked 163rd, was rusty after returning from heel surgery.

Fellow Swede Robin Soderling fared better. The 26th-ranked player and Sunrise qualifier also had to win twice to join Berdych, Schuettler, Arnaud Clement and Mischa Zverev in the quarterfinals. Three more matches were scheduled late Thursday.

"Two matches is a lot, but I played five matches because I played three in the qualies," Soderling said after his second win of the day, a 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory over fifth seed Simone Bolelli.

Sixth-seeded Jose Acasuso retired because of back pain after splitting the first two sets with Dudi Sela. Sela, suffering from an apparent leg injury, had to retire himself from his following match against Clement.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Roger FedererSony Corp.Evgeny KorolevBNP Paribas
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