French Open Tomas Berdych easily moves to the second round

French Open Tomas Berdych easily moves to the second round

Berdych coasted to a straight sets victory over Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

Charlie Townsend

Seventh-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych easily dispatched of Canadian opponent Vasek Pospisil to reach the second round of the 2016 Fench Open

The match was one of the first of a heavy scheduled third day at the French Open. The tournament has so far been besieged by weather delays as rain pounded the courts and forced many contests to be postponed. Under the scope of better weather, Berdych made quick of Pospisil, who had hoped to reclaim a winning form after having lost four straight matches coming into Roland Garros. 

Berdych stormed out of the gates early with a break on Pospisil in the first set before eventually sailing through the next two sets. All told, he would go on to break the Canadian eight times in the match, claiming victory 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. 

Berdych will go on to face Tunisian-born opponent Malik Jaziri in the second round. 

Pospisil continues to struggle

Pospisil, ranked 46th in the world, has had a dismal clay season so far. He entered Roland Garros having lost in the first round in both clay tournaments he's played. His last win on any surface came in the first round of the Miami Open, as he defeated Diego Schwartzman in a straight sets victory there. Since then, wins have been few and far between in singles competition. 

His first service game against Berdych proved costly. The Canadian's backhand was once again in poor form. Berdych would consistently hit shots to it, eventually allowing Pospisil to get broken on his own backhand error. Pospisil would eventually spin a powerful winner past a flustered opponent to claim a break. However, too many unforced errors would allow the seventh seed to claim the first set 6-3. 

The young Canadian looked to avoid his 16th consecutive loss on clay and finally advance to the second round of the French Open. The next set, however, would go little ways in advancing those hopes. The rare cold and heavy conditions of Roland Garros gave 6'5'' Berdych time to move around the court and set up a powerful forehand winner in the second set that looked to crush the will of young Pospisil. He watched the world number eight spray forehand after forehand, making what must have seemed a thousand dents in Roland Garros' red clay, each cutting deeply in his opponent's prospects. 

Berdych easily propelled himself to the next round at the 2016 French Open. (Photo: Getty Images)
Berdych easily propelled himself to the next round at the 2016 French Open. (Photo: Getty Images)

Defeat Settles in 

Pospisil had repeatedly insisted he was undaunted when he learned he would face the big Czech in the opening round. Before the match, he noted that the last time he faced Berdych was on hard courts; he was playing well at the time. However, the lower seed only had three wins against top ten players coming into this match. The third and final set would close the door on hopes of a fourth. The top-ranked player from the Czech Republic sprayed seven impressive winners to close the match, enthusing a once somber crowd that had seen rainouts on several courts the previous two days. 

Berdych broke Pospisil in the first game of the final set. The latter broke in to volley towards the net. However, the decision ended in an unforced error that his opponent quickly consolidated by holding his own serve.

The loss puts extra pressure on Pospisil moving forward. He has a lot of points to defend from an impressive grass court season in 2015. If he wishes to not see his world ranking further slip he'll have to now break a five-match losing streak. 

Berdych, meanwhile, goes on to face an opponent he's never played before- the aforementioned Jaziri, who beat Florian Mayer to reach the second round. The higher seed will have to bring a much better service game. His first serve slipped against Pospisil, but he was able to abate that with his patented powerful groundstrokes.