Roger Federer won the Madrid Open title after beating Tomas Berdych 3-6 7-5 7-5 in Sunday’s final and matched Nadal’s record of 20 Master titles.
With this win, the Swiss will move to the second spot in the rankings and overtake Nadal, who will drop to no.3.
Federer is the first person to triumph on Madrid’s controversial blue clay. Spain’s Nadal and Serbian world no.1 Djokovic have both expressed their unhappiness and said that they will not play this tournament next year unless the surface changes back to normal.
However, Berdych is amongst the players who seem to favour the faster blue clay and he was the first to break Federer in the second game of the first set. The Czech earned himself a couple of set points when 5-2 and 40-15 up on Federer’s serve, but the 2006 and 2009 champion saved both of them and managed to stay in the set. In the very next game, Berdych kept his cool and hitting 14 winners and producing only 2 unforced errors throughout the set, he held his serve to take the lead in the match.
The second set started in the same fashion as the first one, but it was Federer this time who took his opponent’s serve in the second game to go 2-0 up. There were no breaks of serve until the 10th game, when Federer, serving for the set at 5-4, failed to close it out and allowed Berdych back into it. The experienced Swiss maestro kept on putting pressure on Berdych, and the Czech finally gave in. A double fault in the 12th game handed Federer the set and the crowd was going to witness a decider.
Federer often plays his best tennis when under pressure, and the third set was a confirmation of that fact. No.6 seeded Berdych went up 30-0 a couple of times on Fed’s serve and had the first break point opportunity in the third game, but the Swiss held tight and averted the disaster. It was Federer who drew first blood and taking Berdych’s serve for a 5-3 lead, he gave himself a chance to serve out the match. But just like in set 2, he faltered to close out the set and Berdych’s hopes of his second Masters title were alive once again. Unfortunately for him though, those hopes got destroyed by the 16 time Grand Slam champion Federer, who struck again to break the Czech in the last game of the match to capture the 2012 Madrid Open title.