Roger Federer gets revenge on Berdych

Roger Federer rediscovered his form, confidence and aggression Friday night in Toronto as he avenged consecutive defeats to Tomas Berdych with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5) win over the Czech to reach the Rogers Cup semi-finals. But although it was one of Federer's most important wins of the year, he risked defeat after abadoning his earlier aggression, allowing Berdych to come within two points of victory.

Influenced by new coach Paul Annacone, Federer came out swinging, outhitting 2010 Wimbledon finalist Berdych, who fell behind 0/30 in his four service games of the first set. Five-time ATP World Tour Champion Federer was particularly aggressive on his backhand wing, stepping into the court to let rip, regularly attacking the net and serving with a challenging mix of spin, pace and angles. Federer, who won the first 23 points on his first serve, broke for a 4-2 lead and closed out the set confidently, without facing a break point.

Realising that he needed to change the momentum of the match, Berdych matched Federer’s aggression in the second set and earned back-to-back 15/40 opportunities on the Swiss’ serve at 3-2 and 4-3 as the match took on the look and feel of a heavyweight title fight. But Federer was up to the challenge and saved all four break point chances to level at 4-all, and then had two break chances of his own in the ninth game, but they went unconverted.

Federer had another 0/30 opportunity at 5-all but Berdych survived and then, aided by two double faults, broke Federer to steal the second set.

Federer was facing his third straight defeat to Berdych this year when the Wimbledon finalist served for the match at 5-3 in the third set. But Federer finally converted his fourth break point of the game – and seventh of the set – to get back on serve. But in the following game he twice found himself two points from defeat at 15/30 and later deuce. In a rollercoaster tie-break, Federer raced to a 4-0 lead only to see Berdych claw back to 5-all. But the Swiss, who was at his best when he attacked, clipped a trademark inside-out forehand to set up match point and then drew a Berdych forehand error long when he drew the Czech towards the net to track down a short backhand slice.

Federer left no doubt about what the victory meant to him. “Sometimes you don't have much say playing against a player with the power of Berdych and he's on a streak. This is why this is a great victory for me, great to stop him, good for me, for my confidence this week and next week and the following week.  I could definitely take a lot out of this victory.”

“ I don't want to lose any of the matches,  especially not against a guy once, twice, or three times in a row, but then you've got to give credit to the guy, too.  He's been playing really well.  He's been dangerous.  He's been taking advantage of tough draws now and making moves.  That's tough to stop him.”

On the electric atmosphere at the Rexall Centre, Federer said, “The crowds were absolutely amazing.  Rarely do you get those kind of atmospheres, so I knew that was something special.  I have always around the world great support, but when it gets so loud and so exciting, it's obviously something different.  Adrenaline starts going, and you hope you come out, you know, on the better end at the end, and that's what I was able to do.  I'm really, really happy.

“I thought was going to slip away again like at the beginning of the season, but I was able to turn it around.  It was definitely huge at this point.  It was the crowd on top of it. .. I tried to take out a few things from Wimbledon, but honestly, out there I was thinking of the Miami match, and that one kind of played out pretty similar except this time I made it.”

Date: 14.08.2010, Source: ATP


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