MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Not many players overpower Juan Martin del Potro but Tomas Berdych did just that to win 6-3 6-3 6-2 and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open for the 10th time on Saturday.
Del Potro arrived in Melbourne with high hopes having re-entered the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2014 but was no match for the 19th-seeded Czech.
“Maybe it’s the good air here,” Berdych said on Hisense Arena to explain his consistency in the year’s first slam.
Berdych struck 52 winners on his way to setting up a clash with Italian Fabio Fognini.
“I think he was just better than me today,” del Potro, who had led 5-3 in their previous meetings, told reporters.
“He hit very hard, he served very well and played a smart game. He deserved to win. No excuses today.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Nick Mulvenney)