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2011 London Semi-Final: Tomas Berdych vs Jo Wilfried Tsonga

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Saturday Briefing

by Greg Sharko | 26.11.2011


Four of the biggest names in tennis will battle it out at the O2 Saturday in the semi-finals of the  last tournament of the ATP World Tour season, the prestigious Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The first semi-final of the day features five-time champion No. 4 Roger Federer against No. 5 David Ferrer. Federer is 11-0 against Ferrer (he has lost only three sets in those 11 meetings, two of them coming on clay).

The second semi-final pits No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga against No. 7 Tomas Berdych. Both had played the year-end finale once before, falling in the round robin stage - Tsonga 2008, Berdych 2010. But this year they went 2-1 in their round robin groups and qualified for the semi-finals for the first time. Tsonga finished second in Group B behind Federer and Berdych finished first in Group A ahead of Ferrer. They will both be trying to reach the second-biggest final of their careers. Tsonga reached the final at the Australian Open in 2008 (losing to Djokovic) while Berdych reached the final of Wimbledon in 2010 (losing to Nadal).

Although they did meet at a Challenger in 2004 (with Berdych winning in three sets), this is only the second time they have played on the ATP World Tour. Berdych won their first ATP World Tour meeting in the semi-finals of Beijing last month, 64 46 61.


2011 Highlights:

W (1): Beijing (d Cilic); SF (7): Chennai (l Wawrinka); Dubai (l Djokovic); Nice (l Almagro); Halle (l Petzschner); Bastad (l Soderling); ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l Djokovic); ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l Federer); QF (7): Aust. Open (l Djokovic); Rotterdam (W/O vs Tsonga); Marseille (l Cilic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Bellucci); ATP Masters 1000 Rome (l Gasquet); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal (l Tipsarevic)

YTD W-L: 53-21 (37-13 on hard, 9-4 indoor, 16-7 in Tie-breaks, 6-7 vs. Top 10)

YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 6     

Date of Birth: September 17, 1985

South African Airways ATP Ranking: 7

Tournament History: 

• The 26-year-old Czech Republic native won Group A with a 2-1 round robin record…On Friday, he rallied to defeat No. 5 Ferrer 36 75 61 (was down a break 4-3 in second set, had lost last four meetings)…On Wednesday, saved one match point and defeated alternate Tipsarevic 26 63 76(6)…Was 1-4 vs.Tipsarevic…On Monday, fell to No. 1 Djokovic 36 63 76(3) after holding a match point…Also led 4-2 in final set (now 0-8 on hard vs. Djokovic)

• He is first player from Czech Republic to reach semi-finals since Ivan Lendl in 1991…Lendl reached final in 1988 and won title in ’87 (overall a five-time winner)

• Went 1-2 last year, losing to Djokovic, defeating Roddick and falling to Nadal in RR play

2011 in Review:

• The top player from the Czech Republic has won a personal-high 53 matches and appearing in his ninth semi-final or better…He is first player from his country to finish  in Top 10 back-to-back seasons since Petr Korda in 1991-92

• Last month captured his sixth career ATP World Tour title in Beijing (d. Cilic), his first title since Munich in May 2009…Has a 6-6 career mark in finals

• Advanced to seven other SFs, four on hard courts – Chennai in January, Dubai in late February and ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati in August (ret. vs. Djokovic due to shoulder injury), and ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l. to Federer) along withh seven QFs, including Australian Open for first time (l. to Djokovic)

• Overall he reached QFs or better in 15 of 22 tournaments and lost in 1st Rd. only twice during year, at Roland Garros (lost to Stephane Robert 9-7 in fifth set) and in Basel (l. to Nishikori in three sets)

• In ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, played in all nine tournaments and compiled a 19-9 mark, with SF in Cincinnati and Paris and QFs in Miami, Madrid, Rome and Montreal

• In other Grand Slam tournaments, reached 4th Rd. at Wimbledon (l. to Fish) and 3rd Rd. at US Open (ret. vs. Tipsarevic due to shoulder)…Enters 2012 having played in 33 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments since ’03 US Open


2011 Highlights:

W (2): Metz (d Ljubicic); Vienna (d Del Potro); F (3): Rotterdam (l Soderling); Queen's Club (l Murray); ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l Federer); SF (4): Doha (l Federer); Wimbledon (l Djokovic); ATP Masters 1000 Montreal (l Djokovic); Beijing (l Berdych); QF (2): Marseille (l Youzhny); US Open (l Federer)

YTD W-L: 54-23 (37-14 on hard, 19-5 indoor, 26-17 in Tie-breaks, 9-12 vs. Top 10)

YTD Titles: 2/Career Titles: 7

Date of Birth: April 17, 1985

South African Airways ATP Ranking: 6

Tournament History:

• The Frenchman went 2-1 in Group B round robin play…On Thursday he defeated No. 2 Nadal 76(2) 46 63 for his fourth career win over a Top 2...On Tuesday he defeated No. 8 Fish 76(4) 61 …He opened with a 62 26 64 loss to Federer on Sunday in one hour, 29 minutes

• The last Frenchman to reach the final was Sebastien Grosjean in 2001 (l. to Hewitt) in Sydney

• He  is making his second appearance in the year-end championship and three years ago he went 1-2 in round robin play in his debut in Shanghai…Lost first two matches vs. Nikolay Davydenko (in third set tie-break) and Juan Martin del Potro in two tie-breaks before defeating Novak Djokovic 16 75 61 in final round robin match

2011 in Review:

• The 26-year-old Frenchman is appearing in his 10th semi-final of the season, the third in London (runner-up at Queen’s, SF at Wimbledon)…Has played well from June to rest of season with a 37-12 match record after 17-11 start in first five months…In early part of year, advanced to final in Rotterdam (l. to No. 4 Soderling), SF in Doha (l. to Federer) and QF in Marseille (l. to Youzhny)

• En route to third Top 10 finish in four years, won a pair of ATP World Tour indoor titles and runner-up in three other tournaments, including at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris (l. to Federer) in his last tournament

• In June, reached first career grass court final at Queen’s Club in London (l. to Murray) and followed with SF at Wimbledon where he defeated No. 6 Ferrer and No. 3 Federer in five sets (from two sets down) before losing to eventual winner Djokovic in four sets

• Continued consistent play in summer with SF at ATP Masters 1000 Montreal with wins over No. 3 Federer and No. 10 Almagro before retiring vs. Djokovic due to arm injury

• Then at US Open advanced to QFs for first time (d. No. 8 Fish in five sets), losing to Federer…Afterwards, moved back into the Top 10 on Sept. 12

• In September, played in Davis Cup SF vs. Spain and lost to Nadal in fourth rubber (won doubles)…Followed with first title of season in Metz, defeating Ivan Ljubicic in three-set final

• In final three weeks of European indoor circuit, became first Frenchman to win Vienna title (d. del Potro), lost in 2nd Rd.  in Valencia and runner-upat ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l. to Federer)

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