ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland beat defending champion Tomas Berdych for the sixth straight time, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to clinch the World Tennis Tournament for his ninth career title and first indoors.
The fourth-seeded Wawrinka, who beat the Czech in the semifinals on the way to winning last year’s Australian Open, secured crucial breaks of serve at the end of the second set and the start of the third.
“Tomas was playing really well, but I’m happy to turn that match for me and win the title,” said Wawrinka, who lost his only other indoor final to Novak Djokovic in Vienna in 2007. “Winning indoors is something special for me personally.”
Bidding for this 11th career title, the third-seeded Berdych won 92 percent of his points on first serve and saving the only break point he faced in the first set, where he broke Wawrinka’s serve once.
But the 29-year-old Wawrinka broke for a 5-3 lead and broke again and held for 2-0 at the start of the third set.
Wawrinka then broke again to take complete control at 4-1 up, but Berdych broke back and held for 4-3 to give himself a fighting chance of a comeback.
Berdych, who had nine aces, saved one match point when serving at 5-3 down, before Wawrinka clinched victory at the next opportunity on his serve.
“I had my chances in the beginning of the second set, and I didn’t take them so I think that cost me the match,” Berdych said. “I can see some positive things because the last time I played him it went a completely different way. I was in control in the beginning and the small differences decided it.”
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