Match report

Tomas Berdych ©
Quarter final
5/18/12 1 2 Tot
cz  Tomas Berdych 4 5 0
es  Rafael Nadal 6 7 2
Rafael Nadal ©
  • Nadal beats Berdych, through to semifinals

    5/18/12 5:36 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Five-time champion Rafael Nadal advanced to the final four in Rome, having upended fellow seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets. The world No. 3 is through to face compatriot David Ferrer for a place in the final.

    Second seed Rafael Nadal made the last four by virtue of his straight-sets ousting of 7th seed Tomas Berdych early Friday. The 25-year-old held 10 of 11 service games on his way to a 6-4, 7-5 victory in two hours and 7 minutes.

    After securing the opening set, Nadal fell behind 4-1 in the second. The world No. 3 took five of the next 6 games to seal the quarterfinal win. He completed the effort with 71% of his second-service points captured.

    "I played one of my best matches on clay against a difficult opponent," said Nadal. "It was a big match and one of the higher quality matches this year because the level of the opponent is high and he is playing with big confidence.

    "I played under pressure all the time in the match; my chances on the return were few so I had to be focused. I hit a few fantastic shots and this kind of shot comes with confidence."

    Nadal is scheduled to take on fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the next round. The veteran held on to defeat 16th seed Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals, 7-6(4), 6-3.

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The best match on clay, so far, this year.

Vamos Rafa!

nadline , 5/18/12 6:30 PM

Fantastic match - just saw somewhere that Rafa had 24 winners to 10 unforced errors & overall his stats were great. That is not easy against an in form Berdych.

Vamos our Rafa & God bless.

schatz , 5/18/12 6:49 PM

^^^^^^I think Uncle Toni will allow him an extra helping of pudding tonight.......

rafaisthebest , 5/18/12 6:52 PM

Rafa hit 34 winners to 10 UEs, schatz...stunning display by our Rafa...

Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 5/18/12 6:57 PM

Rafa's passing shots were out of this World! Scaaaaryyyy...

zare , 5/18/12 7:00 PM

Rafa came out all guns blazing and showed us what he's capable of when playing in this mode. Rafa's aggressive game is better than anyone else's, it's just that he's not going to play this way all the time. It's so beautiful to watch a Rafa in this mode. Berdych is playing very well, better than in Madrid last week, first serve % is higher than in that Madrid final. Still, once Rafa came forward to attack, Berdych simply couldn't keep up with Rafa. Rafa's only problem is that his level tends to dip a bit in the second set, allowing his opponent to get back into the match, and as a result he has to fight harder to win the match.

Well he's still winning all the same so theres nothing to complain about. Vamos Rafa!

luckystar , 5/18/12 7:09 PM

Thanks natashao - I must have hit the wrong key in my excitement :) I shall enjoy watching that match more than once.

I think we are very happy fans today - it is good to see our Rafa playing so well.

schatz , 5/18/12 7:13 PM

That was outstanding clay court tennis. Really impressive stuff.

publisher , 5/18/12 7:29 PM

Hey Publisher, are you a first-time poster................welcome!!

I have not seen the match but based on the posts here and what my Mom told me, Rafa was really good today!! It shows too, how he respects his opponents by bringing out his A-game, re: when he had to face Berdych!!

Berdych has been playing very well.........he is expected to go deep at RG!!!

Monalysa , 5/18/12 7:36 PM

luckystar, 5/18/12 7:09 PM

Agree with you 2nd set "lapses" appear to have become the norm for Rafa, but in this match don't you agree it was more a case of Berdy raising his level (especially his 1st serve %) in set 2 rather than Rafa dropping his? After all, Rafa only made 3 UEs in the 2nd set compared to 7 in the first set................

rafaisthebest , 5/18/12 7:43 PM

RITB, yes probably. As Berdych raises his serving level, Rafa became more defensive. Notice he hardly moved up the court during the first half of the second set. After he was 2-4 down, he had decided to come forward to attack whenever he had an opportunity. I guess it's inter-related, Berdych's rise in his first serve % had forced Rafa to be defensive, once Rafa found an opportunity to move forward, he became aggressive and attack. Probably that had in turn affected Berdych's serve and the % dipped and from then it's Rafa having the upper hand again.

A very nice match. I like this Rome clay court. It's a fast genuine clay court and it allows both defensive and offensive play, and that's why there're so many good matches in this tournament. Rafa is so good in his offensive play today yet his defence is simply ridiculous. Nobody can say that he's defensive today as he has 34 winners, more than Berdych's.

luckystar , 5/18/12 9:17 PM

I watched my recording of the match and it cut off right when Rafa had match point! But I had already checked the score online, so I knew Rafa won.

Rafa did exactly what I expected him to do, go up another gear or two in this match. This was high quality stuff from both players. At one point in the second set, the posted the UE's for both players and Rafa had zero!

The stats they put up during the second set showing first serve percentages from the first and second sets, showed that Berdy did serve much better in the second set. Rafa's serving stats were amazing in both sets.

I agree with ritb that Berdy raised his level with his 1st serve % in the second set. Rafa played outstanding tennis throughout this match. His best match by far.

This was something to see, with Rafa showing incredible accuracy with his passing shots. What I really loved was seeing him hitting dtl backhand shots for winners. He was also hitting his cc backhand shot for winners. This is a good sign. Of course, the forehand did most of the damage. Rafa's passing shots were insane!

It's nice to see Rafa win a match where both guys played so well. Good work winning in straight sets without any tb's. Rafa is in excellent form!

Nativenewyorker , 5/18/12 9:47 PM

Impressive by Nadal. Better even than what he showed in Monte Carlo.

cherylmurray , 5/18/12 11:26 PM

When Rafa broke back in the 2nd set Berdy had a dreadful service game - 2 DF's and I don't think he got any 1st serves in. But Rafa did play great and really cleaned up his 2nd serve as the match went on - at least at one point in the 2nd set the commies said that Berdy was winning 60% of Rafa's 2nd serves but Rafa ended the match with, I think, over 70% winning 2nd serves. Seems like a big swing, so maybe I misunderstood something there.

Ramara , 5/19/12 1:38 AM

Does anyone know what should happen from now for Nadal to regain the n2 for RG ?

Emiliano55 , 5/19/12 2:33 AM

Rafa even got compliments from the commies for time between points. He has shown that he can win no matter how much time he takes between points. So taking more than 25 secs does not improve his chances of winning.

nadline , 5/19/12 8:06 AM

Rafa did not win it Berdych lost.

tomnjerry2 , 5/19/12 8:49 AM

tsk tsk tsk , one of the biggest chickens of TT unleashing his crap lol...we are not going to see this cartoon tomnjerry after sunday's final LOL

vamosrafa , 5/19/12 9:00 AM

That is why someone was hiding after Madrid quarters.The biggest joker vamosrafa says this does not make anysense.

tomnjerry2 , 5/19/12 9:10 AM

who was hiding after madrid ? :S i was there throughout the week u cartoon ! go check the threads....i have been here almost everyday except for a few days when I was having my final exams, its all over so I am on holidays now

vamosrafa , 5/19/12 9:19 AM

u cartoon I hav my priorities i will come and post whenever I want.Stick to urself and ur need to mention me.if u dnt like my comments "ignorance is bliss".

tomnjerry2 , 5/19/12 9:23 AM

PompousJelly2, did you forget your meds again today??

jean , 5/19/12 9:26 AM

I don't know about the make belief cartoon world, but in the real world, the opposite of winning is losing so if you have two people competing and one loses, the other one wins. no?

nadline , 5/19/12 9:28 AM

tomnjerry, just back off. Whatever you say here won't change the fact that Rafa will be kicking anyone's ass, Fed included. Oh I forget Fed has to get past Nole first, which I doubt he will. Just seeing Rafa playing like that has got tomnjerry all worried that he has to post comments like that to make himself feels better, really sadist. You better worry for your old man Fed that he'll get kicked in the ass by the no.1 player in the world.

luckystar , 5/19/12 9:32 AM

yes my nurse/compunder.. come and serve me. (;

tomnjerry2 , 5/19/12 9:32 AM

awww the cartoon is unaware of the opposite of winning perhaps, nadline, u got it tight...its not his fault !! dont get angry chicken cartoon calm down its okkk

vamosrafa , 5/19/12 9:32 AM

as u wish luckystar.

And even if Nole wins he will be very deserving being the #1.

tomnjerry2 , 5/19/12 9:35 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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