Berdych ousts Federer; Nadal to meet Murray in Wimbledon semis

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Berdych ousts Federer; Nadal to meet Murray in Wimbledon semis

Post  junkman on Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:11 pm

Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Big Czech Tomas Berdych posted the biggest win of his career on Wednesday by ousting six-time champion Roger Federer in four sets in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Former champion Rafael Nadal avoided an upset to reach the semifinals, where he'll be opposed by heavy British favorite Andy Murray.
The 12th-seeded Berdych dismissed the top-seeded and defending champion Federer 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Centre Court at the All England Club, where the super Swiss had been 51-1 since 2003.
The amazing Federer appeared in the last seven Wimbledon finals, going 6-1. He beat American Andy Roddick in last year's epic finale, which included a 30- game fifth set, and lost to the current world No. 1 Nadal in one of the greatest tennis matches of all-time here two years ago.
The 24-year-old Berdych will appear in his second straight Grand Slam semifinal, having also turned the trick at the French Open four weeks ago.
After splitting the first two sets on Day 9 here, Berdych took control of the match in the third with thunderous serves and groundstrokes. He got his second break of the stanza to forge ahead 5-1, with a crushing backhand winner, and then held serve to close out the set in seven games.
In the fourth set, Berdych got the key break of the match to go up 4-3 on Federer and then held in the next game with an unreturnable 137 miles-per-hour serve.
Federer held in the next game, but was unable to break Berdych after that, as the tall Czech failed on his first match point when Federer popped a backhand volley winner into an open court, but converted on his second match point with a final forehand winner.
It marked Federer's second straight quarterfinal loss at a Grand Slam, as he endured the same fate at the French Open earlier this month.
After the match, Federer said he was "struggling with some back and leg issues." This marks Federer's earliest exit here since 2002.
Berdych prevailed in 2 hours, 35 minutes by breaking Federer's formidable serve four times, while the Swiss icon could manage only one break on his disappointing day. Berdych swatted 12 aces among his 51 winners.
The 6-foot-4 Berdych is now 3-8 lifetime against Federer. The Czech slugger beat the Swiss great at the ATP's Miami Masters event earlier this season and also topped him at the Olympic Summer Games in Athens in 2004.
Federer bested Berdych in the fourth round here at Wimbledon back in 2006 and had been 4-0 versus the big Czech in Grand Slam competition prior to Wednesday.
Berdych, who's won 13 of his last 14 matches on tour, will face Novak Djokovic in Friday's semifinals.
The 28-year-old Federer, who was the top seed here despite being ranked second behind the French Open champ Nadal, appeared in his eighth straight Wimbledon and 25th straight overall Grand Slam quarterfinal on Wednesday.
The 16-time major champion, who is the reigning Australian Open titlist and was last year's U.S. Open runner-up, was chasing a record-tying seventh Wimbledon championship at this '10 fortnight.
In addition to last year, Federer also conquered this most prestigious of tennis tournaments from 2003-07.
Meanwhile, the second-seeded Nadal started of slow against sixth-seeded Swede Robin Soderling before rebounding for a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 decision on Court 1. It marked a rematch of this month's French Open finale, which was won by the powerful Spaniard.
Nadal advanced in 2 hours, 43 minutes by breaking Soderling's big serve five times, compared to three breaks for the Swede. Soderling launched 17 aces, but also piled up 35 unforced errors, 23 more than the victorious Mallorcan.
The 24-year-old Nadal closed out Soderling on his first match point with an easy forehand winner to land in his fourth Wimbledon semi.
Nadal is now 5-2 lifetime against Soderling, including 4-1 in Grand Slam play. The Spaniard topped the Swede in the third round here at Wimbledon three years ago.
The reigning two-time French Open runner-up Soderling shocked Nadal in the fourth round at Roland Garros last year, as Nadal was the reigning four-time champ in Paris at the time.
The high-flying seven-time major titlist Nadal has won 29 of his last 30 matches on tour, including a fifth French Open title four weeks ago. He captured his lone Wimbledon championship two years ago by beating Federer in their showdown for the ages, and missed last year's tournament because of knee injuries.
Nadal lost to Federer in the 2006 and 2007 Wimbledon finales.
Up next for Nadal will be Murray. The fourth-seeded Dunblane, Scotland native came from behind to beat 10th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 6-2 on Centre Court on Wednesday.
After splitting a pair of tiebreaks on Day 9, Murray took control from there. He broke Tsonga on five occasions, while the Frenchman settled for only one break while tallying 23 more unforced errors (37-14) in the 2-hour, 50-minute affair.
The 2010 Aussie Open runner-up and 2008 U.S. Open runner-up Murray is trying to give the Brits their first male Wimbledon champion in 74 years.
Murray is 3-7 lifetime against Nadal, including a quarterfinal setback at the hands of the Spaniard at the AEC in 2008. The Scotsman did, however, win their last meeting, in the quarters at this year's Aussie Open. The two stars have split four Grand Slam matchups.
The 23-year-old Murray will appear in his fourth career major semifinal (2-1).
The third-seeded Serbian star Djokovic also avoided an upset by pasting upstart Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on Court 1. The 26-year- old Lu shocked the three-time Wimbledon runner-up Roddick here on Monday.
Djokovic cruised in 1 hour, 51 minutes by striking 16 more winners (29-13) and piling up five service breaks while holding his quality serve throughout.
"Nothing is easy these days, especially at this stage of the tournament," Djokovic said. "But the way I played, I deserved to win. I was hitting all the shots and I was really playing very solid from all parts of the court. I'm very, very happy with the performance today." The steady 23-year-old Djokovic will appear in his eight career major semi (2-5). He was the Aussie Open champ in 2008.
Djokovic reached the Wimbledon semis in 2007, but was forced to retire against Nadal due to a foot injury while trailing in the third set that day.
"This time physically I'm fitter," Djokovic said. "Those were very strange conditions and circumstances. I had to play three very long matches in three days and couldn't hold on in the semifinal. This time everything is in order and I'll give my best." Djokovic will meet Berdych for a third time, with the Serb taking their first two encounters in straight sets.

06/30 14:32:05 ET

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