Berdych reaches Dubai Championships quarterfinals

MICHAEL CASEY AP Sports Writer Published:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Tomas Berdych advanced to the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships on Wednesday, saving 12 of 14 break points to beat Tobias Kamke 7-5, 6-1.

Berdych saved 12 of 14 break points to beat Tobias Kamke of Germany 7-5, 6-1, and Del Potro defeated Somdev Devvarman of India 6-4, 6-4.

Diego Maradona, who is a goodwill ambassador for the Dubai Sports Council, went on court after Del Porto's match to give the Argentine a hug. Dressed in a polo shirt and pants, Maradona then proceeded to hit a few balls with Del Potro and even had a volley winner.

"It's a pleasure to share moments with Diego," Del Potro said of the former Argentina football great. "All the Argentinian people love him, and he's our No. 1 representative on the world in the sports. You know, to play some balls with him here in this stadium, it's amazing for me. He played really well, not like soccer, but he can hit the balls with me."

Also, Nikolay Davydenko of Russia beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-4, 7-6 (2) and German qualifier Daniel Brands defeated eighth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 6-4, 6-4.

Berdych led 4-2 and 5-3 in the first set but Kamke broke to get back to 5-4 and then held for 5-5. The 90th-ranked German later saved five set points before Berdych broke him to win the set.

Berdych, who reached the quarterfinals for the fourth straight tournament, said he struggled to adjust from the indoor courts of Marseille to the faster, outdoor courts in Dubai. He also complained about the intense sun and windy conditions.

"It was a tricky one and not one of my best games," Berdych said. "I'm happy with the way it went. Just enough to win in two sets. I was really trying to extremely focus on every single point because you don't know what can happen, what the wind will do."