Berdych, Cilic advance to China final

Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and Croatia's Marin Cilic won semifinal matches Saturday and will play for the title at the China Open.

The third-seeded Berdych knocked off top-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, after Cilic beat fellow Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, 6-4, 6-3.

Berdych took the first set Saturday with a late break of serve and had his serve broken late in the second. The third was on serve until Berdych broke for a 3-1 lead and he took full control from there to reach his first final of 2011.

The 26-year-old veteran had lost in the semifinals six times this year. His last title match resulted in a loss to Rafael Nadal in the 2010 Wimbledon final. He also was a runner-up in Miami last year and hasn't won a tournament since beating Mikhail Youzhny for the Munich crown in May of 2009.

Cilic is battling his own title drought, having won the last of his five ATP crowns in February of 2010 at Zagreb. He has been a runner-up twice this year, losing in Marseille and Umag, and owns a record of 5-5 in title matches. One of those losses came at this final in 2009 with a setback to Novak Djokovic.

Saturday's win was the first for Cilic in three meetings with his doubles partner. He saved all seven break points he faced and converted three of the nine against Ljubicic's serve.

Cilic and Ljubicic then lost in the doubles semifinals later on Saturday.

Berdych, who owns a 5-6 record in title matches, has won two of the three lifetime matchups with Cilic. The lone win for the 25th-ranked Croat was a 6-3, 6-4 triumph earlier this year in the quarterfinals at Marseille.

The 2011 Beijing titlist will claim $505,000.