Both Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet have crossed the initial hurdle at the ongoing ATP Rotterdam Open tournament and are meeting in the Round of 16 clash on Thursday.
Former champion Berdych, who is playing the tournament for the 10th time, was tested in the first round by unseeded Romanian qualifier Marius Copil. The fourth seed was pushed to the tie-breaker in the opening set after which he took the match 7-6 (3), 6-4.
Berdych, who is battling to re-enter the top-10 of ATP rankings, suffered an early shock in the season when he was crushed in the Round of 32 at the Australian Open by eventual champion Roger Federer 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. The 31-year-old though is motivated to put the memories of the disappointment behind him and is back in the circuit at the ATP 500 tournament in the Netherlands.
The world number 12 will now face the in-form Gasquet, who decimated unseeded Viktor Troicki in straight sets on Tuesday. The world number 19 French player has been in good form in the ongoing new season, reaching the final of Montpellier last week only to lose to German teenager Alexander Zverev.
However, Gasquet would have taken confidence from his good run at home right after an early exit Australian Open, in which he lost the third-round clash to eventual semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov.
While today's second-round match looks evenly-matched on paper, Berdych has the slender advantage considering the results in the recent meetings between the two players. The Czech Republic star has won the last five of their six clashes including the two in 2016 - Shenzhen and Miami Masters.
Berdych will though has to be at his best to outclass his French opponent but he will motivated to not let a good chance to take a major step towards his second title at Rotterdam slip away.
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