Following their impressive displays on Friday, Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych will cross paths for the 23rd time on the professional tour to determine who will advance to the final of the Mutua Madrid Open. The Nadal vs Berdych head-to-head series stands at 18-4 and the Spaniard held a 17-match win stream dating back to 2006 that was snapped by Berdych during their most recent meeting at this year’s Australian Open quarter-final.
Six-time champion Rafael Nadal found himself faced with an intriguing obstacle in the form of an inspired Dimitrov during his quarter-final round match on Friday afternoon. While he did lose a break during the second set, he was still able to win the match in straight sets and advance to the following stage of the tournament. He defeated the Bulgarian 6-3,6-4 in one hour and 49 minutes.
“Overall I’m satisfied; I’m happy,” said Nadal. “I have made it to the semi-finals, and I think that’s a great result for me, especially after losing in Barcelona the way I did.
“My goal is [to] feel myself playing better every day. That’s my real goal. Then obviously, the goal is always the same, [to] try to have the [best] result possible.”
In a Herculean effort on court, Tomas Berdych rallied back from a set down and the brink of defeat to save a match point and defeat John Isner in three sets. He won the match 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 in a match that was clearly decided in the tiebreaks.
“I’m really looking forward [to] that challenge,” Berdych said. “It’s going to be a nice match.”
“Today was really about just a few points, which decided both sets in the tie-breaks,”
This marks the 23nd time that Nadal and Berdych will cross paths on the professional tour, with Nadal leading the series 18-4. The Spaniard was on a 17-match win streak against Berdych before the Czech No. 1 snapped that streak recently during the quarter-final stage of the Australian Open. While he now holds the confidence to know he can beat Nadal again, he will have to face the Spaniard on clay, which only makes the situation more difficult.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Three Sets