Berdych eases into quarters
Tokyo - World No 6 Tomas Berdych reached the quarter-finals of the Japan Open on Thursday after beating Colombia's Alejandro Falla in a straightforward 6-3, 7-5 win.
The 2008 Tokyo champion, from the Czech Republic, beat Falla in just 78 minutes and without facing a single break point.
"The biggest difference between my first round and this one is... it was already a couple of days after I came here. I was feeling really much, much better physically than in the first match," said Berdych.
"I was able to profit from that, I was serving well, playing solid and when I had a chance, I took it," added Berdych, who reached the US Open semi-finals last month.
Second seeded Berdych hit a fine back-handed approach shot to seize a triple break in the sixth game of the opening set, before striking a key passing shot that decided the winner of the set.
After breaking the 11th game of the second set, the 27-year-old Czech calmly served three aces in a row against a dispirited Falla to finish off the match.
The win sets up a quarter-final clash on Friday with eighth seed Kei Nishikori of Japan, who beat Tommy Robredo of Spain 5-7, 6-1, 6-0.
Berdych said of Nishikori: "We played a couple of matches. I think the last one was this year at Monte Carlo, which was a close match, a close battle for us. He plays really good tennis."
"He is going to play at home. I think it's a good advantage, extra motivation. I just go out there, try to play my game, try to play my best tennis, and then we'll see what's going to happen on the court," he added.
Nishikori said he would be looking out for Berdych's forehand.
"This surface suits his game. He hits a good serve and his forehand shots are deep. I must defend his attacks very well, especially his forehand."
In other matches on Thursday, third seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia beat Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland 6-4, 6-2, while sixth seed Milos Raonic of Canada went through when Serb Viktor Troicki retired with a calf injury.
Fourth seed Juan Monaco of Argentina crashed to a 5-7, 6-1, 3-6 defeat to Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.
Results on Thursday from the Japan Open, an ATP Tour event on hard-courts at Ariake Colosseum (seedings in parentheses):
Janko Tipsarevic (3), Serbia, def. Marco Chiudinelli, Switzerland, 6-4, 6-2.
Milos Raonic (6), Canada, def. Viktor Troicki, Serbia 3-0, retired.
Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic, def. Alejandro Falla, Colombia, 6-3, 7-5.
Marcos Baghdatis, Cyprus, def. Juan Monaco (4), Argentina, 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.
Kei Nishikori (8), Japan, def. Tommy Robredo, Spain, 5-7, 6-1, 6-0.
Dmitry Tursunov, Russia, def. Tatsuma Ito, Japan, 7-5, 6-3.