The Czech will be riding something of a roller-coaster into Roland Garros. He reached the semifinals in both Madrid and Rome, but those results are less consistent than they look. In Madrid, Berdych led Stan Wawrinka 4-2 in the third in the semis before losing four straight games and a chance at the final. A week later in Rome, Berdych made his own return from the dead, coming back from a set and 2-5 down to stun Novak Djokovic in the quarters. At the moment, it seems, Berdych is capable of doing anything on any given day, even beating the world No. 1. But while he is ranked No. 6, has been to the semifinals in Paris, and is always knocking on the Big 4’s door, he can’t seem to be able to put together two upsets in a row.
What to Like:
Roger Federer has been rusty this spring; Andy Murray is having back trouble; Djokovic has struggled. That leaves only Nadal among the Big 4 who is at his best at the moment. All of which should give Berdych more hope than usual.
What Not to Like:
Berdych’s history suggests that one major upset is possible, but not two. On clay, he can beat Federer, Djokovic and Murray, but in five previous matches against Nadal on dirt, he’s won just one set. And that was eight years ago.
What to Expect:
Berdych has certainly been playing well this spring, but he’s probably destined for a spoiler’s role, rather than a champion’s, in Paris.
2013 French Open Profiles: