sport

Berdych off to Rotterdam flier

Tomas Berdych made a fine start to the World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam after easily dispatching Andreas Seppi.

The third-seeded Czech secured a 6-3 6-3 victory over his Italian opponent in one hour six minutes.

Australian Open semi-finalist Berdych broke once in the first set and twice in the second to secure a routine success.

He was utterly dominant on serve, not facing a single break point.

Meanwhile, qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu also made a fine start by recording a 4-6 7-6 (2) 6-4 victory over Croatian Ivan Dodig.

The 32-year-old world No 140 is one of eight French players in the field and is playing in the Dutch city for the fifth time in his career having never progressed beyond the second round.

He withstood 21 aces from his opponent to prevail in two and a quarter hours at the Ahoy stadium.

In the afternoon's other match, home favourite Jesse Huta Galung was beaten by Germany's Michael Berrer 6-4 2-6 6-3.

Defending champion and top seed Juan Martin del Potro is hoping to be fully fit for his mouth-watering first round clash against Montpellier champion Gael Monfils on Wednesday.

After having to deal with wrist pain since losing early at the Australian Open the Argentine is expected to face a huge test against the Frenchman should he recover in time.

"Doctors are hopeful that my wrist will recover very fast," said the 25-year-old. "It is improving slowly, but at least it is improving.

"I'm trying to find a different treatment to fix the injury, to ensure that I can play the whole season."

Andy Murray will open the Wednesday evening session against France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

The Wimbledon champion has been given a wildcard for the event.

Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had to recover from a set down to get past Germany's Florian Mayer.

Mayer took the only break point in the first set but the world number 10 from France responded to win the second and pull away in the third, eventually winning 4-6 6-3 6-1.

Mayer's compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber saw off Ukraine's Sergey Stakhovsky in the last match of the day.

Kohlschreiber needed less than 24 minutes to take the first set, breaking twice and serving out to love with the help of his only ace of the set.

A solitary late break was enough in the second as the German completed a 6-2 7-5 win in an hour and five minutes.