Barclays ATP World Tour Finals hopeful Tomas Berdych defeated Estonia’s Jurgen Zopp 6-1, 6-4 in opening round action at the 2012 If Stockholm Open. The second-seeded Czech, who also recorded a straight-sets win over Zopp in the second round of the U.S. Open, broke serve three times en route to win over Zopp. Berdych has now reached the quarterfinals or better in his past five tournaments, beginning with his runner-up finish at the Winston-Salem Open in August. He is next in line to qualify for the season-ending championships, to be held at The O2 from Nov. 5-12, and is currently in the sixth position in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race to London.
Also in Stockholm, world number 92-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky reached his first ATP World Tour quarterfinal as he upset fifth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-6(5), 7-5. The Ukrainian fired 16 aces to Lopez’s 12 and saved all three break points he faced to prevail in one hour and 36 minutes. Stakhovsky improved to a 16-27 match record on the season. The right-hander is making his debut at this ATP World Tour 250 indoor hard court tournament and is bidding to reach his first final since 2010.
Seventh seeded Marcos Baghdatis advanced to the quarterfinals when his opponent, Alejandro Falla, was forced to retire with a left foot injury after Baghdatis was leading 6-0, 3-0 after 43 minutes. Baghdatis won one of his four ATP World Tour titles in Stockholm in 2009.