Tomas Berdych suffered the ignominy of being Roland Garros’ first shock exit after he crashed out in round one to wildcard Gael Monfils, an result that greatly upset Wimbledon punters hoping to see the best of him this summer.
The Czech world number six looked set to breeze into round two yet failed to impose himself in the last set after letting slip a two-set lead over the four-hour marathon match.
His exit shocked the tennis betting world, many punters having tipped him to make the semis this year, yet it also means Berdych has something to prove at Wimbledon later this summer.
Unlike his top ATP competitors, Berdych has an extra two weeks to get accustomed to grass and should make use of this advantage over June. He is scheduled to play at Queen’s Club early in the month and will no doubt want to prove himself worthy of his ranking.
Indeed, behind Andy Murray, Berdych is the top-ranked man at Queen’s and he will let his extra grass practise show on the luscious London courts. The tournament is designed to give players amble competitive game time on grass before Wimbledon without draining them of energy and Berdych will be one pumped-up man come round one.
He’s struggled this season to really find his feet and has made just two finals all year, yet much was expected of the Czech after semi appearances at both Madrid and Rome in May.
His surprise exit to Monfils – who is better than his 81st rank suggests – will only spur Berdych on to improve his game before Wimbledon and tennis betting fans should expect a backlash of quality tennis at Queen’s.
Whether or not he can then bring that game into SW19 no one can be sure, but one thing for certain is that Berdych has a point to prove not only to his fans but also to himself.
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