Berdych eases past Fratangelo and into round two

AFP

Tomas Berdych began his US Open campaign with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory over Bjorn Fratangelo.

The world number six was never seriously troubled by American wildcard Fratangelo, and booked a second-round match with Jurgen Melzer in less than two hours on court.

Fratangelo, ranked 107 places below Berdych, put up a good fight in the opening set and even wasted five chances to seal the first break of the match in the fifth game.

But it was Berdych who earned the crucial break two games later that, after a straightforward hold, was enough for him to take the lead.

Set two was little more than routine for the Czech. He broke twice and held with a minimum of fuss to go two sets to the good with a little over an hour on the clock.

It appeared that the third set would follow the same pattern when Berdych - a semi-finalist at Flushing Meadows three years ago - earned a double break to storm into a 5-1 lead.

To his credit, Fratangelo responded valiantly to win three games on the bounce, but Berdych re-focused to close out an easy victory.