Jiri Vesely battled his way to his first ATP 250 final since Bucharest 2015. It is the third in his career—including Auckland 2015, where he clinched the title. The Czech beat second seed Ricardas Berankis 6-7(8), 7-6(3), 7-6(7) in the Tata Open Maharashtra semifinal on Saturday 8.
This win has allowed the former World No. 35 to get his revenge over the Belarusian, making up for the latter getting the better in their 2019 US Open first round meeting (4-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4). During his press conference after reaching the Pune final, Vesely compared the two encounters and their distinct outcomes.
“At the US Open I was serving for the match in the fourth set,” he said. “I got very nervous and lost the momentum, and lost the match last year, so today I’m very happy with my performance and fighting spirit.
I didn't give up until the end. It was 3-6 down in the tie break, in total he had four match points and I kept fighting and it just paid off today”. Vesely described Berankis as “a great baseliner,” who “hits the ball so fast and so flat,” adding that this is “what is so good in his game”.
He concluded by saying that he “just had a bit more luck today”. Vesely, current World No. 107, will face Belarusia’s Egor Gerasimov on Sunday 9 in hope of adding a second ATP title to his palmares.