Berdych, Radwanska win China Open finals
BEIJING - Third seed Tomas Berdych ended his long title drought with a clinical, 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory over Croatian Marin Cilic on a smoggy final day at the China Open tennis on Sunday.
Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska took her third title of the year when she beat ninth seed Andrea Petkovic 7-5 0-6 6-4 in a rally-loaded women's final.
German Petkovic, seeded ninth, survived a knee injury scare in the first set and surged back to whitewash her opponent in the second.
The 22-year-old Radwanska, who won last weekend's Tokyo Pan Pacific and August's Carlsbad titles, used her powerful return against the German in the deciding set to clinch the trophy and the $775,500 prize.
"This is my biggest title of my career," said Radwanska. "It's always hard to come back, especially when you lose the set 6-0. She was just killing the ball and she killed me in the second set. It was very, very tough."
Czech Berdych, who last won a title in Munich in May 2009, staged a second-set revival against the 25th-ranked Cilic and blazed through the decider.
"I was really hanging in there. When I lost the first set, I knew I needed to start to play a little more aggressively or change something," said the world number 10.
Cilic, facing his first seeded player in this year's competition, set the tempo by breaking Berdych's serve in the second game.
Berdych's errors played a part in the first set which Cilic, who also lost the final two years ago, finished off with an ace.
Berdych, playing in his first final since his 2010 Wimbledon centre court loss to Rafael Nadal, fought back, and took the match to a third set.
"When I lost my serve and I was two breaks down, I was still positive," he said. "I think the key moment was a break at 5-4. Marin was serving and I made a set point and won the second set. From that moment I started to feel great; I had more energy for the third set."
Cilic admitted nerves had got the better of him as the Czech made his comeback.
"I had two advantages at 4-4 in the second set and maybe I (suffered) from a little bit of tension," he said. "He started to play better and I wasn't finding the right solutions."
Both players dripped sweat in the unseasonably humid Beijing autumn weather and the problems were compounded by a pall of smog enveloping the National Tennis Centre.
The air quality monitor at the United States Embassy in Beijing recorded "hazardous" levels throughout the final day of competition.
German Andrea Petkovic was playing Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in the women's final later on Sunday.