|Posted on December 30, 2010 at 1:53 AM|
In-form Cypriot and Czech superstar to kick start Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 03:00 PM (local time).
The opportunity of facing world number one Rafael Nadal in the semifinal will not daunt either player with both players having the game and temperament for the big stage.
- A victory for Baghdatis on the opening day would see the charismatic right-hander given the opportunity to add to a recent win against Nadal in the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati in August 2010.
- A win for Berdych sets up a re-match and the chance to avenge this year’s Wimbledon final defeat to Nadal, a player he has already defeated three times in his career.
H2H Tomas Berdych - Marcos Baghdatis
Berdych bounces out Baghdatis to set up Nadal showdown
World No 6 Tomas Berdych battled past Cypriot's Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 to set up a mouth-watering clash with world No 1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship semifinal today.
Berdych, who plays in the second semi-final at the Abu Dhabi International tennis Complex at the Zayed Sports City, gets the chance to avenge this year's Wimbledon final defeat to Nadal.
The Czech was, however, stretched the distance by the 20th seed though his loss in the second set was more due some errors by the Wimbledon finalist.
Settling into form quickly Berdych broke Baghdatis in the ninth game and then went on to wrap the first set 6-3 in a little over 40 minutes.
The two players were level 2-2 in their four career meetings and Baghdatis, coming back after a nearly two-month break due to injury, began to move well on court and caused a few problems for his Czech rival.
He broke Berdych in the fourth game and then held on to take the set 6-3 and force the decider.
But Berdych broke Baghdatis' serve in the eighth game only to be broken by the Cypriot in the very next game.
However, after both held serves, Baghdatis saved two match points on his serve in the 13th game before a double fault gave Berdych the chance to go on and break him and seal a place in today's semi-final.
"It is just the perfect start of the year (season). To start by playing matches like this one and then the next day to play the No 1 player in the world," said Berdych, looking ahead to his semifinal opponent. "Of course, I had one more match after the Wimbledon final and I lost it to. So someday I hope I can do that. I am looking forward and I will try my best," he said.