2014 champion earns Rotterdam wild card to meet Nishikori and Cilic

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2014 champion earns Rotterdam wild card to meet Nishikori and Cilic

The 33-year-old Tomas Berdych was sidelined in the second part of 2018 due to a back injury, struggling to play on a high level and dropping out from the top-50 in July for the first time since 2005. After the opening round loss at Queen's to Julien Benneteau, Tomas decided to skip the rest of the season and prepare for a comeback in 2019 that has been so far so good in the first five weeks.

Berdych received a wild card in Doha where he reached the first final since Lyon 2017 and he played well in Melbourne as well, scoring three easy wins before losing to Rafael Nadal, missing his chance in set number three to hit the exit door.

Tomas currently plays in Montpellier, battling past Matthias Bachinger in three sets after more than two hours in the opening round to notch the eighth win of the season and he will have the opportunity to earn more next week in Rotterdam, receiving a wild card to enter the main draw without having to qualify.

The 2014 champion made a debut at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament 14 years ago when he was still a teenager and after a few disappointing results he was the semi-finalist in 2012 before conquering the event two years later, beating Marin Cilic in the final.

Twelve months later, Tomas lost in the title match and he was the semi-finalist again in 2017 and the quarter-finalist a year ago when he withdrew before the clash against David Goffin. Alexander Zverev was forced to skip Rotterdam and Tomas will join Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, Karen Khachanov, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Milos Raonic, Daniil Medvedev and other stars that will fight for the biggest indoor title of the first part of the season.

Tournament Director Richard Krajicek said: "Tomas Berdych has been out for some time due to back problems, but on his return he proved his class immediately. In Doha he reached the final and in Australia he also easily reached the fourth round. It's nice to see an old winner back in Rotterdam."