Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Berdych vs Nadal as it happened

Wimbledon quarter-final result:

T BERDYCH (Cze) 7 v R NADAL (Spa) 2

5-7 (1-7) 4-6 2-6

* denotes server


Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 2-6 Nadal
Bish bash bosh – it’s all over. Berdych hands Nadal the perfect start with his 30th unforced error of the match and, having tugged his pants out of his backside for the umpteenth time in this match (what’s all that about?!), the Spaniard eases through the game before sealing it on another Berdych error. Easy peasy lemon squeezy for Nadal, who will face the winner of the Djokovic-Baghdatis clash on Court One.

“Rafael Nadal is not just a claycourt player. He’s proved himself unbeatable, literally, at Roland Garros, but on grass he is making a real believer out of me. He can win this tournament, without a doubt.”
BBC Sport pundit John McEnroe

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 2-5 Nadal
As a mark of their own boredom with this match, the crowd are barely even applauding or acknowledging the odd Berdych point, which is a little harsh I must say. The Czech moves to 40-15 up as he looks set to salvage some pride, but Nadal pulls out a couple of backhand winners to take it to deuce. A forehand winner brings up match point, but Berdych saves with an ace and goes on to hold. Dum de dum.

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 1-5 Nadal
Berdych may have switched off, but Nadal continues to pull off some remarkable passing shots, none more so than a forehand winner on the run to kick off the game. And the Spaniard pulls another stunning winner out of the bag to seal the game and put him on the brink of a comfortable victory.

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 1-4 Nadal
If there were any doubts before the match that a huge area of concern for Berdych is his mentality, they have been well and truly put to bed out on Centre Court. The Czech gifts Nadal a second break of the set with some tame serving and inaccurate groundstrokes, and it’s safe to say Federer and Ferrero can start kicking their pre-match preparations up a gear in the changing room.

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 1-3 Nadal
It’s all too easy for Nadal, who holds to love with consummate ease.

“It’s so quiet out there now. There really isn’t a great deal of excitement or tension for the crowd to get hold of. It’s already about the next match for them. They’ve had enough of it, and so has Berdych it would seem.”
BBC Sport pundit John McEnroe

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 1-2 Nadal
Typically, Nadal takes things easier having already secured the all-important break, and Berdych holds. I don’t think even Berdych thinks he has a hope in this match anymore, though.

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 0-2 Nadal
Nadal holds with Berdych looking increasingly keen to get off court and into the Wimbledon bar to drown his sorrows. Perhaps he could share a Mai-Tai with former James Bond Pierce Brosnan, who is in attendance on Centre Court. Unfortunately for any ladies out there hoping to make a move on the great man, he’s with his missus. On the other hand, she’s not looking as great as she used to, so maybe you’re in with a shot.

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 0-1 Nadal
Just as he did in the second set, Berdych kicks off with a woeful service game. Error after error is punished by Nadal, while a couple of times the Czech fails even to land the ball in the court let alone within the tramlines. This turkey is cooked people.


Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-6 Nadal
The wind is approaching gale-force out on Centre Court, with John McEnroe sympathising with the players as they attempt to keep their game going. Nadal holds his nerve well to see out the game to 15, though, and I can’t see a way back for the Czech in this match.

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 4-5 Nadal
Once again, with the pressure on Berdych, Nadal steps up his game brilliantly and only an admirable fightback from Berdych keeps the set alive. The Spaniard mixes a forehand winner with another couple of fine approaches to earn two break points, but two big Berdych forehands bring it back to deuce. The Czech then manoeuvres his opponent superbly around the court to take the next two points and keep his hopes of a semi-final place just about alive.

“Berdych showed great heart there to save that game and he has a little bit of momentum now. Can he hold his nerve and take his chances this game, though.”
BBC Sport pundit John McEnroe

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 3-5 Nadal
More wasted opportunities for Berdych, who brings out a couple of unforced errors to allow Nadal to ease through the stress of a 30-30 situation and hold comfortably. To say that the atmosphere on Centre Court is somewhat subdued is as redundant as saying that Mr Dirs’ parents didn’t quite think through their choice of “Ben” as his Christian name. My parents, on the other hand, had the good grace not to call me “Rory”, “Leo-The” or “Sea”, though apparently it was a close call.

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 3-4 Nadal
Berdych holds to 15 with a series of big serves, but not without Nadal serving a reminder of his own prowess at the net with another volleyed winner. Berdych sees out the game by nearly taking a ball boy out with a booming serve, and that’s just not British. You wouldn’t get Tim Henman slamming a ball at a ball boy/girl would you?! Oh right, hold on…

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 2-4 Nadal
A glimmer for Berdych as Nadal double faults to hand the Czech the initiative at 15-30. The Spaniard responds with a forehand winner and a well-crafted rally, though, and Berdych fails to make further inroads.

“This is what is disappointing – the sense of inevitability of this match. It’s like Berdych is allowing this to happen, allowing Nadal to get to him.”
BBC Sport pundit John McEnroe

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 2-3 Nadal
Another important hold for Berdych to 30 and the weather is improving by the minute. Cue torrents of rain, thunder and lightning any minute, I’m sure, but it’s starting to look a bit like summer out there. Poo to all those meteorologists who claim we’re in for a ‘summer of rain’ say I, who’s with me!

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 1-3 Nadal
John McEnroe is less than impressed with Berdych’s game at the moment, with the Czech clearly still rattled by that tie-break loss. Nadal mixes groundstroke winners with a couple of volleys on his way to another easy hold to love.

“That’s another part of Nadal’s game that just keeps getting better and better, the volley. He really is developing the whole package.”
BBC Sport pundit John McEnroe

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 1-2 Nadal
Good work from Berdych, holding off Nadal’s charge with a hold to 15, including two aces. A crucial game to win that, and, with the sun creeping through at Wimbledon, the crowd is slowly beginning to resemble something like capacity. Bootiful.

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 0-2 Nadal
Nadal approaches the net for a rare overhead winner on his way to a comfortable hold. The Spaniard’s freakishly disproportioned left arm is really pumping here, sending down a 131mph ace, and Berdych has got to cast his demons aside and find a way back into this match quickly.

David Mercer: “What’s this?! Bright sunshine…and shadows!”
John McEnroe, in reply: “You cannot be serious!” (ba dom boom boom)

Berdych 6-7 (1-7) 0-1 Nadal
Disastrous start for Berdych who errs on a couple of forehands to hand Nadal three break points, before finding the net again to gift the Spaniard the game.

“Berdych has got to know that Nadal is going to step it up again here, he has to show what he is made of. Instead, he’s providing Nadal with a nice early Christmas present as we speak.”
BBC Sport pundit John McEnroe


Berdych 6-7 (1-7) Nadal
Nadal, one of the best front-runners in the modern game, eases through the breaker as Berdych falters on his returns once again. The Spaniard pulls off two aces on his way to a 5-0 lead, brings out a bit of gamesmanship at the turn with a lengthy drinks break, and eventually secures the tie-break with a bludgeoned forehand.

Berdych 6-6 Nadal
Nadal steps it up nicely with the threat of tie-break looming large, bringing out two big backhands to go 30-0 up on the Berdych serve. The Czech responds with an ace, an unreturnable serve and a forehand winner on his way to a hold and it will be a first-set breaker. Worryingly, there’s a bit of rain in the air…

Berdych 5-6 Nadal
We’re headed for a tie-break fast here it would seem, with Nadal bringing out his own boomers on serve and firing the occasional groundstroke winner to hold to 30.

“Looking at the court, which is still brilliant green by the net, proves one thing – gone are the days of the serve-and-volley player. Even Roger Federer mixes it up these days, and these two are as reluctant as anyone to come in on their serve.”
BBC Sport pundit John McEnroe

Berdych 5-5 Nadal
Well, after a slow start we’re positively racing along now as Berdych serves out another comfortable hold. I’ve barely had time to attack my late-morning brew….grrr…

Berdych 4-5 Nadal
For anyone just joining me from the Live Wimbledon Clockwatch, clearly I shall do my best to live up to the billing granted me by my colleague Piers Newbery of “relatively amusing”. Reminds me of a colleague who was less than over the moon to have all his blood, sweat and tears at work detailed as “meets expectations” in his annual review. After describing Mr Dirs as a “vulture” the other day, clearly Newbery does not appreciate the finer art of sports-commentary-come-comedy that we’re making our own here at BBC towers. Anyway, Nadal serves out his first love game with Berdych struggling to make his returns.

Berdych 4-4 Nadal
More of a rhythm to things now out on Centre, with Berdych finally arching his back into his serve and doing his best to keep Nadal out of the points. It works as he holds to 15.

Berdych 3-4 Nadal
Ooh, a bit of sun on Centre Court! Nadal is clearly thrown after two weeks of rain and sends a flier into the crowd that some fella manfully ducks out the way of so that it smashes his missus in the chest. He then makes it worse by laughing at her, tremendous. He’ll pay for that later. Berdych, meanwhile, puts pressure on Nadal’s serve well to battle back from 0-30 down to break point up, but errs after a net cord is kind to the Spaniard. Nadal goes on to hold.

Berdych 3-3 Nadal
No such slow tactics from Berdych, who races through to a love game with more rockets on his serve. The Czech is slowly kicking that into gear, with three aces so far.

“With all the breaks in play that have occurred these past two weeks, I can only credit the players for how well they are performing match after match. It must be so tough and yet they keep producing.”
BBC Sport pundit John McEnroe

Berdych 2-3 Nadal
Man alive, Nadal loves a break between points doesn’t he. The Spaniard practically puts his feet up with a hot cuppa soup between every serve, which is more than a little annoying for someone like me who considers a fast game a good game. Anyway, it does its jobs in game five as he holds comfortably to 15.

Berdych 2-2 Nadal
More trouble on Berdych’s serve, Nadal scrambling back to 30-30 with a couple of pressure groundstrokes, but the Czech brings out a couple of booming serves to hold. It’s about time too, because Berdych has a first-serve percentage of just 42 at the moment.

Berdych 1-2 Nadal
No sign of early needle between these two which is a shame, not least because the crowd remains sparse at this early hour(!) of the morning. I mean, it’s half past 11 people, what are you, students? Anyway, Berdych gets his backhand going nicely to bring up two break-back chances and he takes the second with a fabulous forehand on the run. We’re back on serve.

“Berdych can go all the way to the top of the game. He’s got all the tools, he’s trading shots with Nadal – one of the best passers in the game – and if he can conquer his nerves, he is on track to be a top, top player.”
BBC Sport pundit John McEnroe

Berdych 0-2 Nadal
Nadal brings a couple of returns right out of the top drawer to move to 30-0 on Berdych’s serve, and sizzles a crosscourt forehand to bring up two break points at 40-15. He takes the second following another fine return, and it’s not just Nadal who will be sweating on his serve this match it seems.

Berdych 0-1 Nadal
Shaky start from Nadal, sending down a couple of big serves and one excellent backhand pass, before suffering in the wind and serving a double fault to let Berdych back in. The Czech dominates the next rally to move to deuce and earns break point with a couple of fine whipped forehands. Nadal saves it, and then another a point later with an ace, before eventually holding with a well-disguised drop shot. Hotly-contested opener, that, and already a few murmurs that Nadal will have to dig deep on his serve.

1113: Right people, here we go… hold on to your hats. Not least because they will probably blow away in the vicious winds of SW19.

1111: Co-commentating alongside David Mercer for this match on BBC1 is the legendary John McEnroe – surely the hardest working pundit in the land these past two weeks. Need a pundit? Step forward Johnny boy. What’s that, rain break? Wheel out the Mac. Meet the sponsors? Bring on Macca. Serve the lunch queue in the canteen? Get moving McEnroe! Love it.

1104: The players are out and warming up, which might take a while given that it’s more than a little parky out on Centre Court. Not that it has stopped Nadal sporting his traditional sleeveless top effort, bless him. Berdych on the other hand, in his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final, is decked out in hat, scarf, gloves and top coat. Almost.

1058 BST These two have met five times before, with Berdych edging the head-to-head 3-2. All three of those victories came on the harder, faster surfaces and the Czech is in confident mood, telling our very own Caroline Cheese: “My biggest advantage is the grass.”

We could have a bit of needle on Centre Court, though, with the pair sharing a bit of ‘history’. Apparently Berdych greeted a win over Nadal in Madrid last year but putting his finger to his lips in a gesture towards Nadal. The Spaniard added afterwards that Berdych “looked at me with not a very friendly face”. Altogether now…”ooooooooohhh!”.

1052 BST: Well stone the crows, it looks like we might just have an uninterrupted day’s play today, fingers crossed. Rafael Nadal continues his one-man show in SW19 by kicking of the day’s play against “official commentary box four dark horse” Tomas Berdych. It will be the Spaniard’s fifth straight day in action, but the 21-year-old laughs in the face of the weather and the Wimbledon schedulers! Erm, in a kind of moans-about-it-at-every-opportunity-but-still-keeps-winning type way.


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