Top seed Novak Djokovic needed four sets to send home Tomas Berdych and set up a semifinal match against Ferrer at Australian Open 2013.
Fifth seed Czech Berdych reached Melbourne quarterfinals without dropping a set, while top-seeded Serb played a marvelous five-setter against Wawrinka in previous round. That might have cost him a lot of energy, yet he came out strong to the Rod Laver Arena court today and broke Berdych as early as in the third game of the opener. The Czech did not offer anything special that could threaten his dominant rival; instead he gave away another service game to fall 4-1 behind. Nole then held to love, whilst the Czech got in trouble again on his serve, offered Djokovic the first set ball and summed up his weak first-set performance with a double fault.
He improved in the following set and broke the defending champion immediately. He was able to maintain the lead and even had a few chances to double it. The first set ball came on Djokovic’s serve, yet it was averted. Berdyh had to be at his best when serving for the set, but got a bit shaky as World no. 1 created four break balls. Some accurate shots and a couple of aces enabled Berdych to save all of them and finally get to the second set point – Djokovic blasted a forehand shot well wide and it was one set a piece between the players.
The top seed got in full control of the match again as he steamrolled through the third set. Berdych could not get a word in edgewise until 5 love for Nole. The Czech then held a serve to get his name on the board, but could do nothing more than that. Djokovic converted the first set ball to restore his one set lead.
Berdych tried to get back into the game in the fourth set, yet the Serb stole his service game early on again. Although he was never close to break back, he nevertheless made Djokovic to serve out the match at 5-4. The latter prepared the first match ball with a service winner and planned to tuck it away with a backhand drop shot – the ball landed in the net. Berdych fended off another couple of match points before Nole smashed his tenth ace down the middle of the court to progress into the semis with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory. It took him two hours and a half to beat Berdych and is now leading series 12-1. He will try to defeat David Ferrer in the semifinal to make another step towards his third consecutive Australian Open triumph.
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