Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych became the fourth winner of the Tie Break Tens competition when he emerged triumphant in a field comprising Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Ahead of his 15th Australian Open campaign, Berdych pocketed a fancy little cheque of $8,064.52 per point or a collective $250,000 along with a novel gold balloon dog trophy.
Berdych began by beating Australia’s Kyrgios and then big serving Raonic before taking down Nadal 10-5 in the final in a format that focuses on playing quick rapidfire points and matches.
Kyrgios and Lucas Pouille exited at the opening hurdle with Berdych beating the Aussie and Nadal getting the better of the Frenchman by conceding just a single point. “I’m not putting too much expectation on myself here. I thought Lucas Pouille was going to be good at this format,” Kyrgios said, with the Frenchman laughing in the background.
Berdych, like many players on the ATP Tour, ended the season early due to injury as he sat out for three months with a back injury. He returned to compete in Doha at the Qatar Open but made an early exit.
Djokovic made his first appearance on court since the Wimbledon quarterfinals last year. Playing in the exhibition event, the Serbian went down to Australian legend Lleyton Hewitt. The Aussie who has come out of retirement to play doubles at the Australian Open, held a match point but couldn’t make the most of it as he lost 11-13 to Nadal in a pulsating semifinal. Raonic had come in as a late replacement for Stan Wawrinka who continues to work on getting fit for the January 15 Grand Slam following his knee injury in 2017.
This was the fourth time a men’s Tie Break Tens event had been staged after Kyle Edmund won in London, Dominic Thiem in Vienna and Grigor Dimitrov in Madrid.
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