2014 Rotterdam champion Tomas Berdych opened his campaign with a 7-5 6-3 win over Mischa Zverev in an hour and 11 minutes to reach the second round and his 20th win at this event. The 6th seed did a lot of damage with his first serve and the broke Mischa three times from five chances to move on in straight sets. Zverev could have made the match more interesting but he converted just one out of six break points he created, including four in the opening game of the match.
The German was 5-3 in front in the opening set and he served for it in game 10 (he lost just three points in the opening four service games), only to get broken and lose all the momentum, unable to recover until the end of the match.
Mischa was off to a better start, holding with ease and putting Tomas under all kind of pressure on the return, creating six break points in Czech's first four service games. He couldn't convert four in the opening game but a forehand winner in game three gave him the advantage that he carried until game 10 when he could close the set.
Instead of that, Berdych broke back out of nowhere and this turned the strings of the match into his hands. Tomas served at love in game 11 and he earned another break with a solid return in the following game for 7-5. The Czech did everything right in set number two, losing just four points on serve and finding the way to break Zverev in game four that proved to be the crucial moment of the set.
A volley winner at the net gave Tomas the lead and he carried it home with no troubles, holding at 15 in game nine to advance into the last 16. Alexander Zverev was more successful than his older brother, scoring a 6-4 6-3 triumph over David Ferrer in an hour and 24 minutes, improving his mediocre Rotterdam score to 3-3.
Someone would think that Sascha had a routine day in the office but it was quite the opposite, struggling to find his shots and having to play against 11 break points. He fends off nine of those to limit the damage in his games and he seized his chances on the return almost perfectly, breaking David five times to control the scoreboard all the time and seal the win in straight sets.
Both players made more errors than winners and the Spaniard was inferior in that segment as well, struggling to defend his second serve better and losing more than 50% of the points in his games. Sascha had to work hard right from the start on own serve and he saved three break points in game two to remain unbroken, firing three winners to leave Ferrer with no chances.
The youngster broke in the next game after a fine drop shot and he dominated in the next 10 points to open up a 4-1 lead, stealing David's serve at love in game five. The Spaniard earned four break points in game six and he converted the last one with a volley winner to reduce the deficit to 4-2.
That was all he could do on the return and Zverev clinched the set with a service winner in game 10 to move set away from the place in the second round. They traded breaks at the start of the second set and both held at 30 in the next four games to stay locked up at 3-3.
Ferrer did the worst possible thing in game seven, double faulting to find himself 4-3 down, and Zverev saved three break points in the next game to consolidate his advantage. Ferrer was 40-0 up on the return in that eight game after a 23-shot rally but Zverev fired two service winner and he reached deuce when David netted a forehand from the baseline.
The third seed closed the game with two service winners and he finished the match in style, breaking Ferrer in game nine with a beautiful lob winner to win his fifth match of the season. First round results: