Tomas Berdych became the first finalist of the Mutua Madrid Open after he overcame Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in today’s semifinal, winning 7-6 (5) 7-6 (6) in 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Del Potro was going into the match with a 3-1 head to head record against Berdych, destroying the Czech in their last meeting in this year’s Rotterdam semis, winning 6-3 6-1.
But this time it was always going to be a slightly different match, with Berdych having played some amazing tennis throughout the week.
No.10 seed Del Potro was the first one to draw blood as he broke Berdych in the third game of the first set to take a 2-1 lead. Both players held their serves until the 10th game, when the Argentine had a chance to serve out the set when 5-4 up. But producing a very sloppy game, he dropped his serve to love and allowed Berdych to come back into the set that went to a tiebreak. The 6th seeded Czech took a quick 5-1 lead, before the Argentine fought back to level the score at 5-5. Unfortunately for him, a lapse in concentration handed Berdych a mini break and a set point that he converted with an inside-out forehand winner to clinch the set in 1 hour and 11 minutes.
Berdych kept the momentum going and he took Delpo’s serve in the opening game of the second set just before consolidating with his own to go 2-0 up. The Argentine showed some frustration but kept on testing Berdych in a hope that he will get a chance to break back. It paid off for him, and after taking the Czech’s serve in the 6th game, the set was back on track. From then onwards, both players held their serves and another tiebreak was going to be played in front of the Madrid crowd. Despite Del Potro saving the first match point at 5-6 down, Berdych managed to convert the second one with a smash winner to book his place in Sunday’s final.
In the other semifinal of the day, world no.3 Federer will meet Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, who defeated top seed Djokovic in yesterday’s quarterfinal.