Berdych on song in Rotterdam
Rotterdam - Tomas Berdych overpowered his Czech Davis Cup teammate Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday to start his campaign at the ATP Rotterdam Open with a win.
Both Berdych and Rosol won singles ties at the weekend as they helped their country into the Davis quarter-finals and a date with Serbia. But Berdych, seeded second, showed his clear superiority in the clash between countrymen.
"I'm satisfied," the number seven said after advancing in an hour and a quarter with ten aces and three breaks of serve as the pair met for the first time.
"It was indoors but still a tough transition from Davis Cup.
"Our court was much faster with lower bounce. I didn't really have much time to train here. but I coped with it pretty well. I was able to find my rhythm quite fast and was able to play my game."
Third seed Juan Del Potro made a winning debut as he played the event for the first time as he put out 2008 champion Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4.
The Frenchman, ranked 47th, was fighting jet-leg after flying in from France's 4-1 Davis Cup victory at the weekend over Canada in Vancouver, nine time zones away.
The last member of the elite was going into opening action later, with top seed Roger Federer stepping onto court at the Ahoy stadium for the first time since winning the 2005 title to take on Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
Del Potro admitted he had trouble closing out victory. "I was nervous in the last game," said the South American who returned to the ATP Top 10 after reaching an Australian Open quarter-final which he lost to Roger Federer.
"I'm really pleased to have won in my first match here," he said after advancing in nearly two and a half hours.
In other first round results, Marcos Baghdatis beat German Matthias Bachinger 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 while Russian Alex Bogomolov advanced as Sergiy Stakhovsky quit injured trailing 6-3, 0-1.
Slovak Karol Beck beat Germany's Philipp Petzschner 7-6 (8/6), 6-3.