Tennis: Berdych sticks to the plan to rout Simon

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AFP) - Holder Tomas Berdych followed his game plan to the letter and reached his second consecutive final at the ATP Rotterdam World Tennis event on Saturday with a crushing 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Gilles Simon.

The rout, which took the Czech third seed into Sunday's final, lasted just 56 minutes.

Berdych now meets the winner of the other semi-final between Switerland's Stan Wawrinka and Canadian second seed Milos Raonic.

The Czech, now coached by Andy Murray cast-off Dani Vallverdu, said that he and his Venezuelan coach have been concentrating on strategy.

"We are focusing a lot more on game plans than I have done in other years," said Berdych, who has never defended an ATP title.

"We've only had a few weeks together, but we have been able to implement a lot into my game."

Berdych stayed in total control as he swept to his ninth straight Rotterdam victory, losing only one point on first serve.

He kept Simon on the back foot throughout the brief contest, with the eighth seed barely recognisable as the man who upset top seed Murray 24 hours earlier.

"It's good not to find anything wrong with your game," said a satisfied Berdych.

"It was a really good match, solid from the beginning.

"And it all started with the right game plan. I felt very good on court, it was all positive for me. I was able to add something to to my game.

"I want to keep doing that for one more match here," said Berdych, who ended with 14 winners and breaks on four of five chances.

Berdych, who trailed Simon 3-6 coming into the match, said: "I did many things differently today compared to our last matches, this result is clear proof.

"I'm happy with how I handled it, with just the right amount of patience and choosing the right shots in the right moment.

"I created the moments for myself and got the situation to my liking."

Berdych won the opening set in 32 minutes with two breaks of Simon's serve and then picked up the pace as he hurtled to victory, advancing to the final on the first of three match points.