Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Nadal defeats Berdych in stunning quarter-final

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych in one of the best matches of the tournament so far with a 6-7 7-6 6-4 6-3 victory.  The first set went with serve, but Nadal did manage to play some of his best tennis to get out of a hole at 5-6, 0-40.  The second set point had to be one of the points of the tournament as Berdych destroyed the ball with his penetrating groundstrokes, but somehow Nadal managed to find an answer to each devastating strike.  Berdych fought valiantly to claim the first set in the tiebreak on his fifth match point, but it was not without drama.  The match highlighted several inconsistencies in the umpiring and the first of those occurred in the tiebreak as a furious Nadal was refused the opportunity to challenge a ball on the baseline.  However later on in the match, Berdych was allowed to challenge a ball on the baseline when he realised his shot in a rally was going out.

The second set was just as intense as the first as Nadal got the early break, but Berdych fought well to recover it and force another tiebreak.  It was another closely fought tiebreak, but Berdych will be left thinking about what could have been after he missed a volley on set point, which would have given him a two sets to love lead.  Nadal subsequently converted on his set point in the tiebreak and then really turned on the style in the third and fourth sets as he hit some sensational forehand shots.  Berdych appeared to run out of steam and ideas too as he could not contend with Nadal's incredible fighting spirit. 

Roger Federer produced a commanding performance to beat Juan Martin Del Potro, 6-4 6-3 6-2.  Federer was never really threatened by the Argentine who tailed off in a disappointing third set.  A quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open is a solid start to the season for Del Potro, but he still has some way to go to be able to contend with the top 4.  Federer looks in excellent form and his match with Nadal has all the makings for a terrific match...

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