Tag: Tomas Berdych

Miami Open: Andy Murray beats Tomas Berdych in semi-finals

Britain’s Andy Murray reached his fourth Miami Open final with a convincing straight-sets win over Czech eighth seed Tomas Berdych.

Third seed Murray won 6-4 6-4 and will play world number one Novak Djokovic or 22nd seed John Isner on Sunday.

The Scot, 27, broke Berdych’s serve four times as he took his career record against the Czech to 6-6.

Murray, who won the Miami title in 2009 and 2013, is set to return to third in the world rankings next week.

Friday’s first semi-final was a repeat of the Australian Open clash in January, which Murray won in four tense sets as he went up against Berdych and former coach Dani Vallverdu.

There was another familiar face in the Berdych box in Miami after fitness coach Jez Green recently began working with the Czech, having left Murray’s team along with Vallverdu last November.

In contrast to Melbourne, Murray made the sharper start this time around, breaking the Berdych serve either side of dropping his own as he took charge early on.

Berdych looked unsettled, complaining about the balls at one stage and then a line call as Murray saw out the set by making an impressive 77% of first serves.

Things got worse for the Czech at the start of the second as a confident Murray broke to love, but the Briton handed him a lifeline as two double faults gave the advantage straight back.

Both men were stepping in and attacking returns at every opportunity, and Murray’s strength in that area proved the difference when he broke the Czech for a fourth time as the pattern of the first set was repeated.

Murray almost clinched victory with a fifth break and had to recover from 0-30 when trying to serve it out, but a rasping forehand sealed victory and he let out a scream of delight.

Read more at BBC Sport

Australian Open: Andy Murray in final after beating Tomas Berdych

Andy Murray came storming back after a poor start to beat Tomas Berdych and reach his fourth Australian Open final.

The British number one lost a tense first set but recovered to win 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-3 7-5.

It will be the sixth seed’s eighth Grand Slam final and first working with Amelie Mauresmo, with ex-coach Dani Vallverdu now in Berdych’s corner.

Murray, 27, will play the winner of Friday’s semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka.

“There was a little bit of extra tension – it was a big match,” said Murray. “A lot was made about Dani Vallverdu, my former coach, working with Tomas.

“But we’ve been friends since we were 15 years old and I felt that the focus was unfair and unnecessary.

“This is sport – and there’s more to life than sport. It created a bit of extra tension but everyone calmed down after start of the match.”

The Scot’s hopes were under threat after losing a tension-filled opening set, but he turned it around with a brilliant lob early in the second and took control with seven straight games.

Berdych, 29, had started much the better and served for the set at 5-3, only for Murray to break straight back in a rally of huge forehands and celebrate wildly in the direction of the Czech’s player box.

There was a definite edge to the contest, and some sharp words followed from Murray in the next game when Berdych complained about the balls.

Two more break points slipped by at 5-5 but Murray edged ahead in the tiebreak, earning the first set point, only for Berdych to save it impressively behind his serve and go on to clinch it.

Read more at BBC Sport

Australian Open: Nadal rejects illness fears after shock Melbourne exit

Rafael Nadal crashed out in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open after suffering a straight-sets defeat to Tomas Berdych.

It was the Czech’s first win over the Spaniard in 18 matches dating back to 2007, with Berdych triumphing 6-2 6-0 7-6(5) win, handing Nadal his first ‘bagel’ since 2006 at Wimbledon and only the third at a grand slam in his career.

Television cameras also showed Nadal taking a pill early on in the third set, but he insisted he was not suffering form any illness.

Coming into the Australian Open, Nadal had played only eight matches since last June because of a right wrist injury and appendix surgery in November.

He also battled through cramp to secure a five-set win over Tim Smyczek in the second round last week.

Berdych showed little emotion throughout the match, maintaining a familiar focus. He said he planned to continue to play in that style.

“If this keeps me going through, I’m going to keep doing the same,” Berdych said.

He added: “I was ready for everything and I think that was the difference. I started pretty well, but when you’re playing Rafa you have to keep going to the last point.”

Nadal saved two match points in the 12th game of the final set, sending it to a tiebreaker. Berdych led 5-2 and finally ended the match on his fourth match point when Nadal netted a return of serve.

Berdych will next meet Andy Murray or local hope Nick Kyrgios, who were to play the other men’s quarter-final set for later Tuesday.

Read more at ESPN

Australian Open: Nadal claims ‘special’ win to set up Berdych clash

Rafael Nadal won his first match against a top-20 opponent in almost a year and gushed about his “special” victory in what he describes as a “tough period”.

Nadal said he could not work out what was wrong with his body when he was taken to five sets by world No.112 Tim Smyczek on Wednesday, but there were no such worries for the third-seeded Spaniard as he overcame Kevin Anderson 7-5 6-1 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Nadal, who had not beaten a top-20 opponent since edging Novak Djokovic out of the French Open last year, had to save a break point in the fifth game of the first set and five more in the 11th before finally getting a chance to break the big-hitting Anderson, who netted a simple volley to give Nadal the set.

From that point there was only going to be one winner and the 14-time grand slam champion said in his on-court interview: “It’s very special to be in the quarter-finals after a tough period of time for me, it’s a fantastic result.

Nadal will face Tomas Berdych in the last eight after he saw off Bernard Tomic 6-2 7-6(3) 6-2.

Nadal has an 18-3 record against the seventh-seeded Czech, who won three of their first four meetings but has lost the last 17 in a row – but believes it will count for nothing when the pair meet for a 22nd time.

“It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. It is a different story this time,” Nadal said. “A different moment for me, different moment for him. The way we arrive to that match is not going to affect what happens in the match. I’m sure of that.

“He’s a great player. I have success against him, but I have the chances to lose against him. I remember in 2012 I had a very, very tough match against him here [also in the quarter finals]. I was close to being two sets to love down. He’s a player that is top level.”

Berdych hopes new coach Dani Vallverdu, who formerly worked with Andy Murray, will provide an effective scouting report on Nadal.

“He is very good on that,” he said. “He knows how to put up the plan before the match and how to prepare the player. That’s what I was looking for and what I needed.”

Read more at ESPN

ATP Finals: Novak Djokovic beats Tomas Berdych

Novak Djokovic crushed Tomas Berdych 6-2 6-2 to reach the last four of the World Tour Finals and clinch the year-end No.1 ranking.

Djokovic secured an immediate double break and wrapped up the first set in just 31 minutes, securing his place in the semi-finals at the O2 Arena.

The second set began the same way as Djokovic raced into a 4-0 lead before completing the rout in one hour and nine minutes, racking up his 30th straight win indoors, a streak which extends across three seasons.

“It’s a great deal of happiness knowing that what I’ve been through the entire season in order to get to where I am and finish the year as No.1,” said Djokovic. “I owe gratitude to my team, to all the people who were next to me.

“It’s one of the ultimate challenges. Being No.1 of the world is the pinnacle of the sport.”

It is the third time in four years that Djokovic has finished the year at No.1, as he chases a third consecutive World Tour Finals title.

In 2014, he claimed his seventh grand slam at Wimbledon, and has won other six titles, including four Masters crowns in Indian Wells, Miami, Rome and Paris.

“One of the highest and most difficult challenges is to be No.1 nowadays, especially because the tennis has become very competitive in the last five, 10 years, very physical,” added Djokovic. “To have a shot at No. 1 of the world, you need to be consistently healthy and successful throughout the year.

“Because [Rafael] Nadal and [Roger] Federer are so good for so many years, they always make you win at least one or two grand slams if you eventually want to be No.1, and of course with consistency, because they’ve been so consistent with their results. I know how difficult it is. It’s why I’m proud of this achievement.”

Djokovic now faces Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals on Saturday and is anticipating a battle.

Read more at ESPN