Closing out the day session on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday will be the matchup between Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych. Nadal and Berdych have had a long history of playing each other, dating back to 2005. They most notably faced off in the Wimbledon 2010 final, where the Spaniard picked up one of his 19 wins over Berdych. Check out the Nadal vs Berdych H2H matches.
Berdych has come back with a vengeance this year, looking like he has barely lost a step following a large injury absence last year. Outside the top 70 to begin 2019, he was a finalist in Doha before making the fourth round here. Kyle Edmund was beaten with ease in round one while he beat Diego Schwartzman in four sets to get this far. It was a strong serving performance in the latter that helped greatly in the comeback he win. He served 19 aces and won over 80% on first serve on his way to victory.
Nadal has been swatting aside Australians for fun this week with all three victories coming against home players. There was a suggestion that Alex de Minaur might pose more of a threat but it was never really too much of a contest with Nadal taking charge from the get-go. He was not broken once in the 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory, a sign of how comfortable it was for him. “I think for moments I tried to make him feel that my ball was good enough that he was not having the control of the point almost never. I know he’s dangerous. He’s super quick. He likes to go inside the court fast. I tried to not give him many chances on that.” he said. “Then my serve worked well. I felt more dynamic with my movements tonight.”
Berdych’s game has always had the ability to trouble the best as his career achievements show. However, he has often been found wanting against the best and struggles to deal with the pressure. This one could be interesting however with much lower expectations on the Czech. He could come out of the blocks quickly to trouble Nadal but question marks will remain over his ability to go the distance.
Nadal is not being complacent despite the head to head. “The only thing that I can say is I won three good matches, and now I have another tough opponent in front that he’s playing great. He started the season at a very high level. So going to be a very big test for me.”
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in four sets