|Posted on May 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM|
Madrid Saturday Briefing
by Greg Sharko | 12.05.2012
FEDERER TO MEET TIPSAREVIC, DEL POTRO TO FACE BERDYCH IN SEMIS
• World No. 3 Roger Federer, who will return to No. 2 by winning this title, is joined by two Top 10 players and a former World No. 4 in the semi-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday. With defending champ Novak Djokovic eliminated on Friday, it guarantees for the 11th straight year in the tournament no player has won back-to-back titles.
• The first semi-final pits No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych against No. 10 seed Juan Martin del Potro; both players have been in top form this week, neither losing a set en route and Berdych particularly strong on serve, not getting broken in any of his 25 service games). Neither player has a winning record in ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals, Berdych going 2-6 and del Potro 1-3 (and both are winless in ATP Masters 1000 semi-finals on clay, Berdych going 0-2 and del Potro 0-1). But del Potro is a perfect 10-0 on clay courts this year (and 22-0 in sets) and the Argentine has beaten Berdych in their last three meetings without losing a set (including a 63 61 win in the semi-finals of Rotterdam in February).
Berdych is trying to reach his 14th ATP World Tour final (7-6 mark) and third ATP Masters 1000 final (1-1), winning Paris in 2005 and finishing runner-up at Miami in 2010. Del Potro is trying to reach his 17th ATP World Tour final (11-5) and second ATP Masters 1000 final (runner-up at Montreal in 2009).
• The second semi-final features No. 3 seed and two-time Madrid champ (2006, ’09) Roger Federer against No. 7 seed Janko Tipsarevic; who pulled off the biggest upset of the week, beating top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, his second career win over a reigning World No. 1 (his first also came against Djokovic last year). But his road is going to get a lot tougher from here, as not only has Federer won all four of the pair’s previous meetings (including their only previous clay court meeting in straight sets) but the Swiss is also far more experienced at this stage, this being his 43rd ATP Masters 1000 semi-final (he is 31-11) while Tipsarevic is playing just his second ATP Masters 1000 semi-final (he lost in the Montreal semis last year). Federer is trying to reach his 104th ATP World Tour final (73-30 in his first 103) and 32nd ATP Masters 1000 final (19-12, only Nadal has won more ATP Masters 1000 titles with 20). Tipsarevic is trying to reach his ninth ATP World Tour final (2-6) and first ATP Masters 1000 final.
SATURDAY SEMI-FINAL FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEAD
(10) Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) vs (6) Tomas Berdych (CZE) Del Potro Leads 3-1
2008 Tokyo (Japan) Hard F Tomas Berdych 6-1 6-4
2009 ATP Masters 1000 Madrid (Spain) Clay R32 Juan Martin Del Potro 6-2 4-1 ret (left leg)
2009 CZE vs. ARG WG QF (Czech Republic)Hard RR Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4 6-4 6-4
2012 Rotterdam (The Netherlands) Hard SF Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 6-1
2006 Prostejov CH (Czech Republic) Clay R32 Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-3
• The 26-year-old Czech Republic native is playing in Madrid for the eighth time in nine years (except ’10) and enters his second semi-final with a 10-7 mark…This week has cruised to a 64 63 win over Kevin Anderson, 61 61 victory over No. 12 seed Gael Monfils (winning 28 of 32 pts. on serve) and 61 62 over No. 15 seed Fernando Verdasco
• Has not been broken thus far, holding all 25 service games while winning 83% of first serve pts. and 67% of second serve pts….Has converted 11 of 13 break points, winning 11 of 23 return games
• His previous best result was the semi-finals in 2006 (d. No. 6 Roddick, No. 2 Nadal, l. to No. 10 Gonzalez) and a quarter-finalist last year (l. to Bellucci)
W: Montpellier (d Monfils); SF: Rotterdam (l Del Potro); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Djokovic); QF: Australian Open (l Nadal); Dubai (l Murray)
YTD W-L: 25-6 (8-1 on clay)
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 7 (2 on clay)
Date of Birth: September 17, 1985
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 7 (Career-high No. 6 on October 18, 2010)
2012 in Review:
• The top player from the Czech Republic comes into his fourth semi-final in eight tournaments with a 25-6 match record (8-1 on clay)…Four of his losses have come to Top 10 opponents
• Trying to reach his 14th career ATP World Tour final (7-6 mark) and third in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final (1-1)
• His best result was capturing his seventh career ATP World Tour title in Montpellier, France on Feb. 5 (d. Monfils in final)…Also a semi-finalist in Rotterdam (l. to No. 10 del Potro) and Monte-Carlo (l. to Djokovic) along with quarter-finalist at Australian Open (l. to No. 2 Nadal) and Dubai (l. to No. 4 Murray)
• In first two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in March, reached fourth round in Indian Wells (l. to No. 12 Almagro) and third round in Miami (l. to Dimitrov)
• Prior to Monte Carlo, won both of his singles Davis Cup QF matches vs. Serbia, defeating Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic, both in straight sets…Czech Republic will play Argentina in SFs in September
• Has a 2-4 mark vs. Top 10 opponents this year (28-64 in career)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 History:
• Has a 2-6 career mark in semi-finals and captured his first title in Paris in 2005 (d. Ljubicic in five sets) and reached final in ’10 Miami (l. to Roddick)
• Also SF in ’06 Madrid, ’07 Monte Carlo, ’08 Miami, ’11 Cincinnati, ’11 Paris, ’12 Monte Carlo
• Has a 100-64 career match record, the 12th active player with at least 100 wins
DEL POTRO FASTFACTS
• The 23-year-old Argentine is appearing in his second semi-final in six Madrid visits and owns a 13-4 career mark…This week has not dropped a set en route to defeating Florian Mayer 64 62, Mikhail Youzhny 64 76(1), Marin Cilic 62 64 and No. 16 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov 63 64…Has saved 14 of 18 break points while breaking opponents 13 times in 38 games (34%)
• His previous best result was the semi-finals in 2009 (d. No. 3 Murray, l. to No. 2 Federer)…In ’08, reached quarter-finals (d. No. 7 Nalbandian, l. to No .2 Federer)
• The lone Argentine to win the title here was David Nalbandian in 2007 (d. Federer)…Also runner-up in ’04 (l. to Safin)
W: Marseille (d Llodra); Estoril (d Gasquet); F: Rotterdam (l Federer); SF: Dubai (l Federer); QF: Sydney (l Baghdatis); Australian Open (l Federer); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Federer)
YTD W-L: 31-6 (10-0 on clay)
YTD Titles: 2
Career Titles: 11 (4 on clay)
Date of Birth: September 23, 1988
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 11 (Career-high No. 4 on January 11, 2010)
2012 in Review:
• The Tandil native is appearing in his fifth semi-final in eighth tournament this season with a 31-6 match record, including a 10-0 mark on clay (winning all 22 sets)…Has a 3-1 mark in SF matches
• He is coming off a repeat title effort in Estoril last Sunday (d. Gasquet), his second ATP World Tour title of year and first clay court tournament…He won two Davis Cup matches on clay in Buenos Aires in the quarter-finals vs. Croatia, defeating Karlovic and Cilic in straight sets
• In February, he captured his 10th career title in Marseille (d. Llodra); four of six losses have come to Federer (Australian Open QFs, Rotterdam final, Dubai SFs, Indian Wells QFs)…11-5 in career finals
• Returned to Top 10 after Australian Open, his first time in the elite since returning from wrist injury lay-off in 2010; came in here No. 11 and will move to No. 9 and to No. 8 if he reaches final and Tipsarevic loses in semi-finals…Career-high is No. 4…Has ranked in Top 10 for 11 of 14 weeks this year
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 History:
• The Argentine is 1-3 in his career in semi-finals and reached lone final in Montreal in 2009 (l. to Murray) His SF results are: ‘09 Miami (l. to No. 4 Murray), ’09 Madrid (l. to No. 2 Federer) and ’11 Indian Wells (l. to No. 1 Nadal)
• Has a career record of 50-25 since his first win in Indian Wells in 2007
H2H Tomas Berdych vs Juan Martin Del Potro
Order of Play - Saturday, May 12, 2012
MANOLO SANTANA Start 10:45 am
WTA -  Victoria Azarenka (BLR) vs  Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
WTA - [Q] Lucie Hradecka (CZE) vs  Serena Williams (USA)
Not Before 3:30 PM
 Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) vs  Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 7:00 PM
 Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) vs  Roger Federer (SUI)
WTA -  Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci (ITA) vs Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina (RUS)
Berdych downs del Potro to reach Madrid final
Tomas Berdych returns a ball to Juan Martin Del Potro during their semi-final tennis match of the Madrid Masters on May 12, 2012 at the Magic Box (Caja Magica) sports complex in Madrid. Berdych won 7-6, 7-6.
BERDYCH HOLDS OFF DEL POTRO
by ATP Staff | 12.05.2012
Tomas Berdych reached his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final.
World No. 7 Tomas Berdych reached his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final on Saturday as he overcame Juan Martin del Potro 7-6(5), 7-6(6) in the semi-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open.
The Czech player rallied from a break down as del Potro squandered the chance to serve for the first set a 5-4, and clinched the opener in the subsequent tie-break. In a role reversal in the second set it was del Potro who recovered from a 1-3 deficit, but Berdych again held his nerve in the tie-break for victory in two hours and 18 minutes.
The No. 11-ranked del Potro was on a 10-match winning streak, having come into Madrid on the back of his second title of the season at the Estoril Open (d. Gasquet). The Argentine was bidding to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown this week.
The 26-year-old Berdych is through to his second final of the year having not dropped a set, including a 6-1, 6-2 thrashing of Rafael Nadal’s conqueror, Fernando Verdasco, in the quarter-finals. The right-hander captured his seventh ATP World Tour title with victory over Gael Monfils in Montpellier in February and has a 26-6 match record in 2012.
Bidding to win his second Masters 1000 crown, Berdych will face either World No. 3 Roger Federer,
or Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic, who ousted defending champion Novak Djokovic on Friday. Berdych won his lone Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris in 2005 (d. Ljubicic) and was runner-up in the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open final (l. to Roddick) in Miami.
ATP Homepage of Saturday, May 12, 2012
Berdych downs del Potro to reach Madrid final
(AFP) – 12 May 2012
MADRID — Tomas Berdych mastered the slick blue clay to topple Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (8/6) on Saturday to reach the final of the Madrid Masters.
The sixth-seeded Czech will bid for his eighth career title -- and second at the Masters 1000 level -- on Sunday when he plays third seed Roger Federer.
Berdych fired down 15 aces in a contest lasting just over two and a quarter hours at the Caja Magica.
The Czech won only his second match out of five against Del Potro, who captured the Estoril title last weekend, as he began his campaign for the French Open later than most of his rivals after resting at home.
Coming to the court, Berdych had won 26 service games this week and got one more before finally being broken in the third game of the opening set.
But he took it back in the 10th game for 5-5 as Del Potro was broken while serving for the set.
The distraught Argentine rallied from 1-5 down in the tiebreaker but still lost it after 68 minutes.
Berdych began the second with a break, was broken back for 3-3, but again showed his nerve with a winning tiebreak effort to advance into the title match on a second match point after Del Potro saved the first with an ace.
Del Potro dropped to 10-1 on clay this season and 22-2 on sets after defeating Berdych in their last three meetings without losing a set.
Berdych will be playing in his 14th ATP World Tour final and third Masters final, having won in Paris seven years ago before losing in Miami in 2010.
Saturday's win was his 26th of the season and ninth on clay.
Tomas Berdych enters the finals of the Mutua Madrid Open
Roger Federer to face Tomas Berdych in Madrid Open final
Roger Federer eased into the Madrid Open final after a 6-2 6-3 win over Janko Tipsarevic.
In the opening semi-final, Berdych was made work hard but eventually triumphed thanks to a strong serving display, including 15 aces.
A smart Del Potro passing shot broke Berdych for the first time in the tournament and allowed him to pull 3-1 ahead early on.
He then had a chance to serve out the first set, but Berdych broke to love to level the match and go on to win the tie-break.
Berdych kept up the pressure at the beginning of the second by taking Del Potro's first service game. Although Del Potro broke back, Berdych prevailed in the second set tie-break.
"It was really just about one or two points that decided for my side," he said afterwards. "It was really close. We fought for every point and I am really happy to have gone through."
Sunday's final will be the Czech player's first since he won in Montpellier in January.
Tomas Berdych celebrates win against Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro
Berdych beats Del Potro to progress to Madrid final
ESPN staff | May 12, 2012
Tomas Berdych booked his place in the Madrid Open final with a 7-6 7-6 win over Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday afternoon.
Untimely errors from Del Potro in the tie breaks for each set proved costly for the Argentine, who never really got to grips with his Czech opponent's groundstrokes and appeared to struggle with his movement around the court.
Del Potro broke Berdych's serve early in the first set and led 5-3 at one stage, before his opponent laid on some pacey shots to bring himself back into the set, breaking Del Potro's serve in the tenth game to level at 5-5 before edging the tie break to take the opening set.
Berdych broke Del Potro's serve in the opening game of the second set and went 3-1 up as he appeared to be racing towards a swift finish, but a resurgence from the Argentine - which included a break of serve in the sixth game - took him to a 4-3 lead.
With little to separate the duo the set went to a tie break in which Berdych raced into a lead after a slip from Del Potro at a crucial moment, but he managed to edge ahead 5-4 before an error handed Berdych matchpoint on his own serve.
Berdych then wrapped the game up to book a final spot against either Roger Federer or
Janko Tipsarevic, who face off later on Saturday in the other semi-final.
Tomas Berdych celebrates his victory over Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina at the end of their men's semi-final match at the Madrid Open tennis tournament May 12, 2012.