Berdych back in limelight after Federer scalp
Originally published on: 06/09/12 00:00
It’s been a funny old year for Tomas Berdych. Capable of towering highs and desperate lows from one week to the next, the Czech put to bed memories of his first round losses at both Wimbledon (Ernests Gulbis) and the London Olympics (Steve Darcis) by disposing of five-time champion Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows.
Having not made a Grand Slam semi-final since his runner-up finish at Wimbledon in 2010, the world No.7 roared back into the limelight on the big stage after ending the world No.1s tilt for an 18th Grand Slam title in the quarter-finals.
The Czech hasn’t entirely got Federer’s number – he still trails 11-5 in their 16 career meetings – but he has certainly delivered against the Swiss on the big stage of late. His 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 3-6 6-3 triumph on Arthur Ashe on Wednesday night adds to his significant quarter-final scalp of Federer at Wimbledon in 2010 and in the second round of the Athens Olympics all the way back in 2004. Berdych also prevailed in their quarter-final meeting in Cincinnati last year and in their fourth round meet in Miami in 2010.
“With my game I’m able to make him some trouble,” said 6’5” Berdych. “Even if he’s playing well, there is something in my game that he doesn’t like. It makes him struggle a bit. Maybe [I] bring him out of his comfort zone. He always likes to be on court. He always likes to have a time. He always likes to be the one who is dictating the game. If there is someone different, someone else who can be in his position [he can struggle], that’s the way I am successful in a couple of matches with him.”
Set to take on Andy Murray in his first US Open semi-final having never before been beyond the fourth round on his previous nine attempts in New York, Berdych has reason to be confident. He holds a 4-2 record over the world No.4 and won their only previous Grand Slam meeting in the fourth round of the French Open in 2010.
“I will do something different for my next match,” Berdych declared. “I have a few days off to get ready, to get rest, to prepare again and you know, try to keep my game on the same level. If I’m able to play my game then I have a quite dangerous game to beat anyone.”