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.”

Federer v Berdych as it happened

Australian Open, Melbourne Men’s fourth-round result:

R Federer (Swi) bt T Berdych (Cze)

6-4 7-6 (9-7) 6-3

* denotes server

By Piers Newbery

Third set:

Federer 6-3 Berdych
No problem for Federer, although Berdych does throw in one more howler with a woeful backhand into the net. It may have been straight sets but it was engrossing stuff and Federer was in real danger in the second set tie-break. Still, only those of us who were here will ever really understand that.

I’m off to lie down for a couple of days before returning for the glory shifts later in the week, my colleague Sarah will be bringing you Hewitt v Djokovic from 0830 GMT. And of course you could watch it via the red button or on this website. Or listen on 5 Live Sports Extra. There’s no excuse.

Federer 5-3 Berdych
For old time’s sake, Berdych smacks his seventh ace of the day to take the game.

Federer 5-2 Berdych
Federer might have ben on court for about nine hours the other night but he looks as fresh as a daisy at the moment, finishing the game with an ace and a hooked foreahnd. Tasty.

Federer 4-2 Berdych
And goodnight. Berdych slips to 0-30 and then double faults. Break point and the Czech obliges by sending a forehand over the baseline.

Federer 3-2 Berdych
Federer is looking in great touch now, playing one gorgeous drop shot and another of those sweeping forehands. Not much Berdych can do about it. Federer’s girlfriend, Mirka, continues to demolish the world’s chewing gum resources in the stands.

0537: Absolute horror show from Berdych, he’ll have nightmares about that tie-break. After toms text, i too have no lectures this week but thats because i have exams. Im doing an all nighter 4 my economics exam which is now in only 4 hours!”
From Olly via text

Federer 2-2 Berdych
Federer looks a little frustrated as he fails to take advantage from deuce, firing a forehand well long to give up the game.

Federer 2-1 Berdych
Easy peasy for Fed – he really is serving well at the moment. A love game and the pressure is back on Berdych.

Federer 1-1 Berdych
The game appears to be up when Federer sweeps to 15-40 with a couple of sweet passing shots but he cannot convert either set point and Berdych hangs on.

Federer 1-0 Berdych
Federer nips off for a break at the changeover, Berdych sits with his legs crossed shaking his head in disbelief. Rog opens the third set with a double fault but is quickly back on track and holds easily.

Second set:

Federer 7-6 (9-7) Berdych
I’m involuntarily laughing again – that was fantastic entertainment. Federer battles back from 5-2 down and then puts a forehand long. Set point for Berdych and he goes for…. a drop shot! Naturally it plops into the net and his coach holds his head in his hands. Unbelievably, the Czech gets another chance and this time he wallops an easy forehand into the tram lines. His coach looks ready to cry. Federer is not going to pass up this gift and converts his first set point when Berdych thwacks a forehand over the baseline. That, my friends, is choking. Great to watch though.

0509: “Good thing I’ve no lectures this week. We love you Piers!”
Not my words, the words of Tom via text (honest)

Federer 6-6 Berdych
Federer races through a love-service game and we’re into a huge tie-break that will surely dictate whether we’re facing another epic, or a straight-sets win. And when I get to eat breakfast.

Federer 5-6 Berdych
Big Tommy B is hammering down big serves and finding the lines with his groundstrokes, and a routine game is on the cards at 40-0. Federer keeps him honest with a winning return and then clips way a volley before Berdych misses one from the net – it’s deuce. Berdych survives with, yes, a bog serve and a big forehand.

Meanwhile, James Blake leads Marin Cilic by two sets and a break.

Federer 5-5 Berdych
Federer does well to stay alert to a Berdych forehand that clips the line, geting a racket to it and sending the ball back into the open court – just. He holds and we’re heading for a tie-break.

Federer 4-5 Berdych
Blimey. Berdych hits one forehand winner that is so good it makes me laugh out loud, don’t know why. He does it again moments later to hold serve and Federer will be desperate to get this set.

Federer 4-4 Berdych
We’re coming to crunch time now and both men are raising their games. Federer cracks ace number five at 30-30 but Berdych hits back with a spectacular cross-court forehand pass. A couple of deuces come and go but Berdych cannot capitalise.

0449: “Berdych has got all the talent in the world but Federer raises his game and Berdych just seems to wilt under the pressure. It has been a problem for him in the past – he just doesn’t seem to believe he can beat Federer.”
BBC Sport’s Chris Bailey on 5 Live

Federer 3-4 Berdych
More top-quality stuff and Berdych does brillianty to hold with a couple of sharp volleys.

Federer 3-3 Berdych
“Allez!” screams Federer when he saves a break point with a beautiful wrong-footing forehand. He repeats the trick on the next point and claims a vital hold to level things. Berdych asks the umpire if he can change his shoes, so Federer changes his racket. I decide to crack open the biscuits.

Federer 2-3 Berdych
Federer looks like he’s got his groove back as he races to 0-40 and three break-back points but Berdych saves the first two with the usual combination – serve/forehand. He can’t make it three in a row, though, thumping a regulation forehand long and we’re back on serve.

Federer 1-3 Berdych
Federer gets off the mark in this set but Berdych manages one stunning backhand pass, and Fed still has aface like thunder.

Federer 0-3 Berdych
Fed is back to the grumbling that marked much of his match against Tipsarevic the other day – he’s not happy with a line call but doesn’t challenge it. Berdych ingores it and holds to love. I think his fans are chanting “barmy army, barmy army!” Bloomin’ cheek.

Federer 0-2 Berdych
This time it’s Federer who falls 0-30 behind, attracting some rather harsh giggles from the crowd when he nets a smash. It went about three miles into the bright blue Melbourne sky. Anyway, Berdych arrows a beautiful backhand winner down the line that Federer unsuccessfully challenges and the Czech converts his second break point with a big forehand. Settle back everyone….

Federer 0-1 Berdych
Alarm bells are ringing for Berdych when he slips 0-30 down at the start of the second set but the man from Valasske Mezirici (!) serves his way out of trouble impressively.

First set:

Federer 6-4 Berdych
The world number one is in the mood today, wrestling the initiative away from Berdych to grab the first set with a noncholant forehand winner into the corner after 31 minutes. Federer is serving at 71% and will be hard to beat if that continues.

Federer 5-4 Berdych
After eight games of bish-bash-bosh, Berdych goes for a delicate drop shot that plops into the net. Federer skips around a backhand and wallops a forehand down the line for 30-30, giving it some “C’mon!” The first break point of the match arrives and Berdych fails to put away a mid-court ball, allowing Federer to hook a forehand past him and move ahead.

Federer 4-4 Berdych
A smash and an ace help Federer to hold, despite a successful Hawkeye challenge from Berdych. The winner will play James Blake or Marin Cilic, and Blake has just taken the first set.

0412: “Well, hopefully Berdych will come up with an upset, but, in all honesty? I can’t see Federer losing this. Federer in straight sets.”
From Shaun via text

Federer 3-4 Berdych
Guess what – Berdych holds easily with some heavy serving and huge groundstrokes. It’s blow for blow at the moment, no sign of weakness from either man.

Federer 3-3 Berdych
A thumpingly impressive game from Federer, who is serving well and swats away a couple of forehands for a hold to love.

0407: “I have a lecture at 9, im hoping for a 5 hour marathon match to keep me occupied before i leave.”
From ray in telford via text

Federer 2-3 Berdych
Berdych dominates on serve again, taking it to love when Federer frames a forehand out of court. Prepare yourselves for another long one.

Federer 2-2 Berdych
Another superb game – Berdych moves 0-30 clear with a fizzing backhand return down the line. Federer looks in trouble on the next point but produces a magnificent forehand volley and serves out the game.

Federer 1-2 Berdych
Berdych digs out an incredible lunging forehand pass that he hooks around Federer at the net and races to 40-0. But Federer finds an even better forehand winner at a ridiculous angle and Berdych then double faults and sticks a forehand long. The big Czech holds his nerve with a couple of winners – cracking stuff.

Federer 1-1 Berdych
Big serves and big forehands are the bread-and-butter shots for both men and Federer makes a mightily impressive start, thumping an ace for a love game.

0353: “Federer will win in 4. Still looks like it’s gonna be a Fed/Nadal final… again.”
From Tom via text

Federer 0-1 Berdych
Some wonderful defence from Berdych, including a running backhand winner, and a couple of aces see the Czech get off to a good start. It certainly pleases the massed ranks of Czech supporters on Rod Laver Arena, who have decided to take their shirts off and daub letters that I presume read ‘Tomas Berdych’ across their chests. Nice.

0340: Good morning. Lord knows what you’re doing up at this time on a Monday morning but I’m thankful that you are.

It’s hard to say how this one will go after seeing Federer taken to the very limit by Janko Tipsarevic on Saturday.

The world number one has a 5-1 record against Berdych and his only defeat came in their first meeting at the 2004 Olympic Games, which would suggest a straightforward win.

But 22-year-old Berdych is ranked 13 in the world and has been tipped for great things for a couple of years now.

It’s time for the Czech to make good on his obvious promise, could this be the day?

Story from BBC SPORT


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