HEAD racquet rebel Tomas Berdych swung his YouTek IG Instinct MP to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 title victory over Stockholm Open top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to move closer to a qualifying place in next month's Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Czech Berdych followed up his other season trophy at Montpellier with another indoor crown, his first in Sweden. Berdych is next in the queue to qualify into the eight-man season-wrap-up field in early November.
"London is a goal every season. You have to play well the whole year to qualify. It will be special for me, if I make it for the third year in a row," said Berdych, who also has a Davis Cup final in November against Spain to look forward to at the end of a solid 2012 campaign.
Berdych became the first Czech to win the trophy in Stockholm's Kungligahallen since Ivan Lendl - coach to fellow HEAD racquet rebel Andy Murray (YouTek IG Radical Pro) - in 1989. He has now claimed eight ATP career titles by handing Tsonga a seventh loss in a final.
He had to fight hard as his opponent was leading by one set and 4-2 in the second before falling in the Swedish capital. "It feels pretty good to have won a second title this season," said Berdych. "When I was down 2-4 in the second set, I remained positive and focused on my game. Against Jo you have to stay positive until the last point. I am happy that I was able to turnaround the match and that’s what makes this title special."
Five players had qualified already for the London year-end event, including racquet rebels Novak Djokovic (YouTek IG Speed MP), winner of Chinese events this month in Beijing and Shanghai, plus 2012 Olympic Gold medal winner and US Open Champion Murray.