Rafael Nadal – Tomas Berdych
– The first set was Nadal at his absolute best while the second showed his ability to seize an opportunity.
– Nadal will play the winner of Roger Federer and Benoit Paire who play later tonight, with most of the tennis universe hoping for the Swiss to come through and face his old rival.
– Berdych has had a good week with a sterling win over Djokovic to remember, asking him to do the same to Nadal the next day was just too much though.
Game, set and match Nadal
A great first point from Berdych is undone by an error on the next. The Spaniard comes through to hold and make his eighth final in row.
Suddenly the Nadal of the first set is back and he breaks to love. Looks like curtains for Berdych’s Rome hopes.
Nadal too good and holds despite Berdych’s best efforts to get a foothold.
Nadal lucks out with a netcord to make deuce but Berdych gets his own fortunate netcord on the very next point. Nadal breaks a string on the next point and Tomas come through unscathed.
Nadal holds to love and we are getting towards the business end of the set. Can Berdych keep holding and get to the point where Rafa will have to serve to stay in the set?
Berdych hitting through the court with his forehand now, Nadal conversely struggling for length. Tomas is looking much better now and holds to love.
More excellent play from the Spaniard, he’ll be hunting for the break now.
Berdych with a solid hold, the most notable event being a giant autograph ball rolling onto the court as he was about to serve on one point.
Berdych wins three times as many points against the Nadal serve as he did in the entire first set. Rafa has to save a break point before getting home.
It is really is a must-hold opener for the Czech and he does, helped by a couple of Nadal errors. Nadal is choosing to receive serve a long way back, concentrating on getting looping balls back in play. Berdych in the lead in the 2nd!
First set to Nadal!
A set of unplayable quality from Rafael Nadal, the greatest clay courter ever at his very best. All facets of his game are firing, perhaps the forehand up the line being the best of all. He’s lost just one point on serve. Can Berdych get going? Surely he will hit out…
Berdych route to points depends on making his first serve and he finds it enough times to hold. Surely this first set is gone but he needs to get in position to fight for the second and this hold was essential to that.
Nadal gives up a rare point in this game but otherwise out hits and out maneuvers his opponent comprehensively.
Berdych works the first point well but misses a backhand volley. A couple of points later Rafa rifles a cross court backhand pass for two break points, you know he’s in overdrive when those are hitting the lines. Berdych has two overheads in a row but can’t put them away and Nadal roars as he hits a forehand winner up the line from the second one.
Nadal keeping impressive length on his groundstrokes, cracking his backhand as well as the forehand. Berdych needs to weather the storm as Rafa holds to love.
Nadal still in top form but Tomas finds a few first serves then plays a brilliant point to get on the scoreboard.
Berdych can’t get anything going with his returns, can’t stop Nadal dominating the points with the topspin forehand.
Nadal breaks to love, he’s looking incredibly focused here. Huge pressure applied to Berdych.
– Berdych to serve.
– So how can Berdych face up to perhaps the ultimate test in tennis: playing Rafael Nadal on red clay.
– The players are on court and warming up.
Live Commentary of the Rome Masters 2013 semi-final match between Nadal and Berdych will commence here as soon as the players start warming up.
The Spaniard leads the head to head with 13-3 and has won the last 12 meetings against the Czech. Their last encounter took place in this year’s Indian Wells semi-final, with Rafa prevailing in straight sets 6-4 7-5.
But Berdych is proving to be a very dangerous player and he showed it today as he eliminated world no.1 and top seed Djokovic in three sets.
Enjoy the match!