|Posted on June 1, 2010 at 2:45 PM|
Berdych cruises into first Grand Slam semi
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
By Nyree Epplett
No.15-seeded Czech Thomas Berdych proved that his fourth round win over No.4 Andy Murray was no fluke when he crushed No.11 Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets 6-3 6-1 6-2 to cruise into his first ever Grand Slam semi-final on Tuesday.
Still yet to lose a set this tournament, the big-serving Berdych completely shut out his opponent from the outset on Suzanne Lenglen Court, slamming down eight aces and 28 winners on his way to victory in just under two hours.
The 24-year-old Czech, whose previous best Grand Slam finish was a quarter final appearance at 2007 Wimbledon, out-rallied his opponent from the backcourt, used his massive forehand to finish points off, and more than stood his ground at the net - winning 11 of 16 net approaches.
The 27-year-old Russian struggled with Berdych’s 200km/hr-plus first serve, and was unable to break on his three opportunities. In contrast, Berdych broke Youzhny six times.
“My game was really good today. It was tough conditions…I was pretty happy that I can keep serving well in this pretty wet conditions,” said Berdych, who is now on an eight-match winning streak, and is the first Czech player to reach the semi-final here since Petr Korda in 1992.
He will meet fifth-seeded Swede Robin Soderling in the semi-final, after Soderling upset defending champion Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 late Tuesday. Berdych sensed that an upset may have been on the cards when he heard the crowd's loud cheers from Philippe Chatrier Court late in the third set.
The Czech has beaten the Swede on three of their seven previous encounters, including their last meeting at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami earlier this year, and their only meeting on clay at the 2007 Monte Carlo Masters. The Czech hopes he can step it up a notch in the next match, and “still bring something more” to the court.
“Our last match I played really good. I won. The score looks quite easy but that’s just how it looks on paper.
“But here we gonna play best of five sets at a Grand Slam, semi final, so it will be different. I will try to stay with my game and try to profit from my serve.”
ATP home page of Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Tomas Berdych smiles after beating Russia's Mikhail Youzhny in their men's quarter-final in the French Open tennis championship at the Roland Garros stadium, on June 1, 2010, in Paris. Berdych won 6-3, 6-1, 6-2.