Houdini act sees Berdych into Montpellier semis
Montpellier - Former champion Tomas Berdych reached the Open Sud de France semi-finals the hard way, saving two match points in a 7-6 (7/3), 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 win against Filip Krajinovic on Friday.
The two players were meeting for the first time on the ATP Tour, and made it a match to remember.
It looked as if Berdych was going through in straight sets when he went a break up in the second set. But Krajinovic, a Paris Masters finalist in 2017 after a surprising run from the qualifying rounds, broke back, took the tiebreaker and then led 5-4 and 40-15 in the third.
Berdych, who is unseeded at the tournament he won in 2012, then turned the contest around.
The 33-year-old Czech next faces seventh-seeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, who beat third-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada 7-5, 7-6 (7/4).
Berdych beat Herbert in their only previous meeting, earlier this year in the quarter-finals of the Doha Open.
Later on Friday, sixth-seeded Jeremy Chardy faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in an all-French quarter-final.
Results from the ATP tournament in Montpellier on Friday (x denotes seeding):
Radu Albot (MDA) bt Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 6-2, 7-6 (7/2)
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA x7) bt Denis Shapovalov (CAN x3) 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)
Tomas Berdych (CZE) bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 7-6 (7/3), 6-7 (5/7), 7-5