Posted: Monday October 1, 2012 7:00 AM

Berdych wins 1st-round match at Japan Open

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TOKYO (AP) - Second-seeded Tomas Berdych defeated Benoit Paire of France 6-1, 7-6 (6) in a first-round match at the Japan Open on Monday.

Berdych used a powerful serve and strong play from the baseline to win in 1 hour, 44 minutes under a blazing sun at Ariake Colosseum.

The Czech raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set, breaking Paire in the second and fourth games. The second set was on serve until the fifth game, when Berdych broke Paire to go up 3-2. It seemed Berdych would roll to the win, but in the 10th game Paire battled back, ripping a backhand winner to level at 5-5.

Both players then held serve to send it to a tiebreaker, where Berdych prevailed 8-6 after saving a set point when he was 6-5 down.

 
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