STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Defending champion Tomas Berdych advanced to the Stockholm Open final after his opponent Marcos Baghdatis was forced to withdraw from their semi-final due to injury trailing by a set.
“It’s not the way you want to finish the match,” the 30-year-old Berdych told Swedish TV after Baghdatis had left the court, adding that the Cypriot had told him it was a recurrence of a long-standing injury.
The Czech top seed powered through the first set in 26 minutes, his strong serving and hard accurate baseline strokes regularly wrong-footing 2009 winner Baghdatis.
Looking sluggish after his hard-fought quarter-final win over Gilles Simon on Friday, there was little to suggest that Baghdatis was capable of a comeback before he informed the umpire and his opponent that he was unable to continue.
In Sunday’s decider, Berdych will meet American Jack Sock, who had a far more satisfying end to his semi-final against second-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
Seventh seed Sock’s powerful and precise service returns helped him notch four breaks as he cruised past Frenchman Gasquet and into his second ATP singles final, rounding off a 6-4 6-2 victory with an ace on match point.
Editing by Ed Osmond