|Posted on May 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM|
H2H Tomas Berdych vs Rafael Nadal
BIG THREE TAKE CENTRE STAGE AGAIN AT FORO ITALICO
• The Top 3 players on the ATP World Tour are featured again on Centrale on quarter-final Friday. Overall, six of the top seven seeds are remaining along with the top Italian player, who is unseeded.This is the 16th time in the past 17 years (except last year) at least two Spaniards are in the quarter-finals. It’s also the first time since 1986 two Frenchmen (Leconte, Noah) are in the quarters.
• First up is No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal, who takes an 11-3 career record against No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych. Nadal has beaten Berdych 10 times in a row (including two straight-set wins on clay) after the Czech Republic native won three of the first four meetings. Berdych is trying to reach his first semi-final here (he was also a quarter-finalist in 2007 and last year). Nadal has won this tournament in five of his seven previous appearances and with straight-set wins in his first two matches (holding serve all 17 games), has improved his record here to an impressive 33-2.
• Next on is World No. 1 Novak Djokovic against No. 5 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who comes in with a 5-4 head-to-head mark. This is a first-time meeting on clay. The Frenchman does have two career wins over reigning World No. 1s (Federer in Montreal in 2009 and Nadal at Queen’s Club in 2010). Tsonga, who reached the quarter-finals here two years ago, is looking to advance to the semi-finals for the first time in an ATP Masters 1f000 event on clay. Rome has always been a good venue for Djokovic, as this is one of four ATP Masters 1000 tournaments he has won multiple times, in 2008 and last year (and the only one on clay - the other three, Indian Wells, Miami and Canada, are all on hard courts).
• At night, No. 3 seed and World No. 2 Roger Federer brings an 8-0 mark (17-1 in sets) against top Italian Andreas Seppi, who is the only unseeded player left. Federer has been on an amazing run since last year’s US Open, going 47-3 (and in his first tournament of the clay court season last week he earned his third Madrid title, including his record-tying 20th ATP Masters 1000 crown). He’s now back at No. 2 for the first time since the week of March 14, 2011. Seppi, who never advanced past the second round in Rome in seven previous appearances, is the first Italian to reach the quarters since Filippo Volandri was a semi-finalist five years ago. Seppi has posted a Top 10 (No. 10 Isner) and Top 20 win (No. 20 Wawrinka) in his last two matches and is trying to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 SF.
• On SuperTennis Arena, No. 6 seed and 2010 runner-up David Ferrer takes a 6-1 advantage (winning past three meetings in straight sets) against No. 16 seed Richard Gasquet, who is making his first quarter-final showing in Rome. The Frenchman is the only player left who has not won a title this year.
• The 26-year-old Czech Republic native is appearing in his third quarter-final (2007, last year) and owns a 10-6 career mark…This week he’s defeated Lukasz Kubot 64 61 and No. 12 seed Nicolas Almagro 76(3) 63…Has held serve 17 of 19 games (89%) and has converted seven of 10 break points
• In ’07, he came in ranked No. 12 and lost to Italian Filippo Volandri in three sets in the quarter-finals
• Trying to become the first player from Czech Republic to reach semi-finals since Radek Stepanek in ‘08
W: Montpellier (d Monfils); F: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Federer); SF(2): Rotterdam (l Del Potro); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Djokovic); QF(2): Australian Open (l Nadal); Dubai (l Murray)
YTD W-L: 28-7 (11-2 on clay)
YTD Tie-break: 14-3
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 enters his seventh ATP World Tour quarter-final in eight tournaments with a 28-7 record (11-2 on clay)…Five of his losses (2-5) have come to Top 10 foes
• He is coming off his 14th career ATP World Tour final (7-7 mark) in Madrid (l. to Federer), third in an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final (1-2) and fifth on clay (2-3)
• 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 2-5 mark vs. Top 10 opponents this year (28-65 in career)…Also 1-5 in finals vs. Top 10 opponents with lone win over No. 10 Ljubicic in 2005 Paris final
Order of Play – Friday, May 18, 2012
CENTRALE - Start 12:00 noon
WTA - Flavia Pennetta (ITA) vs  Serena Williams (USA)
Not Before 1:30 PM
 Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs  Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 4:00 PM
 Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
Not Before 7:20 PM
WTA -  Angelique Kerber (GER) vs  Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Not Before 9:00 PM
Roger Federer (SUI) vs Andreas Seppi (ITA)
Tomas lost to the King of Clay
Tomas Berdych in action during QF against Rafael Nadal
Handshake between Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych