Nadal beats Federer to reach Cincinnati SFs, Berdych ousts Murray

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PinExt Nadal beats Federer to reach Cincinnati SFs, Berdych ousts Murray

Roger Federer put in one of his best performances for a while but it was still not enough for him against Rafael Nadal, as the Spaniard battled back from a set down to take the match 5-7 6-4 6-3.

Federer was dominant on serve in the first set, not facing a single break point as he took the game to Nadal and was eventually rewarded deep into the set. Serving at 5-5, Nadal is unable to return a fierce cross court forehand and so Federer would serve for the set – taking it with a backhand winner.

Nadal would fail to convert two break points early on in the second but the turning point would come at *3-3 0-30 when he would win four straight points. Serving to stay in the set, Nadal took it to Federer as he fended off a number of game points before Nadal finally earned his first set point. It would go unconverted but Nadal would make no mistake second time round with a crisp forehand winner to tie it up.

Nadal would break in his first return game of the set as he rushed into a 3-0 lead, thanks to a run of five straight games. Federer would hold his nerve to avoid going a double break down but would fail to see a lead in either of the remaining service games. Nadal looked to have the match wrapped up at 40-0 but some outstanding play from Federer saw all three saved. Nadal would finally finish it off at the fifth time of asking with a forehand down the line, although replays later suggested that shot may well have been out.

With the victory, Nadal goes to 13-0 on the year on hard courts and extends his head to head record over Federer to 21-10.

Nadal will play Tomas Berdych in the semi final after he saw off a surprisingly flat Andy Murray in straight sets 6-3 6-4.

Berdych had won the first set of each of their last three meetings and would do so again thanks to a solitary break from 30-0 on the Murray serve, not long after Murray failed to convert a break point of his own. A love service hold would close it out for the Czech to take a set lead.

When Murray held and took a 0-40 lead on the Berdych serve to begin the second, it looked highly likely that the match would be going three but Berdych held his nerve by winning five straight points to hold. Murray would come to regret it as he would find himself broken immediately after thanks to a forehand error.

Berdych remained solid on serve, not facing another break point as he finished off the match fairly comfortably. He would convert on his first match point with the help of a big serve that could only be netted to increase his record over Murray to 6-4.

 

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