• Berdych, Almagro clash in Australian Open fourth round

    1/21/12 5:36 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Berdych, Almagro clash in Australian Open fourth round One of Sunday's fourth-round matches in Melbourne pits Tomas Berdych against Nicolas Almagro. The winner is likely on a quarterfinal collision course with Rafael Nadal.

    Tomas Berdych and Nicolas Almagro will be doing battle for the seventh time in their careers when they meet in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday.

    Berdych leads the head-to-head series 4-2, an especially impressive mark since five of their six encounters have come on Almagro's favorite surface of clay. Three of the clay-court clashes went in Berdych's favor (one via retirement), and the Czech dominated their lone hard-court matchup 6-2, 6-2 last summer in Cincinnati.

    Still, Almagro cannot be entirely discounted on faster surfaces. After all, you don't reach the Top 10 simply by racking up points as a dirtballer. Almagro also reached the fourth round in Melbourne last year, won two rounds at Wimbledon, and made an appearance in the quarters of the Canada Masters. So far this week the 10th-ranked Spaniard has taken out Lukasz Kubot, Grigor Dimitrov, and Stanislas Wawrinka--the latter in surprising straight sets.

    Berdych went into the season's first Grand Slam with little match practice and some minor shoulder concerns, but he is looking like the same old Berdych from 2010 and 2011. The world No. 7 has dismissed Albert Ramos, Olivier Rochus, and Kevin Anderson in convincing fashion, dropping just the second set to Ramos.

    Alamgro would have a much better chance on the slow stuff, but he at least has more of shot against Berdych here than on grass or a faster American hard court. The bottom line, however, is that Berdych's surface advantage and current form point to a victory in no more than four sets.

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I have a felling that Almagro will win this match some how Almagro for the upset win

tennis2011 , 1/21/12 8:59 PM

Almagrohas taken the first set - 64.

nadline , 1/22/12 5:08 AM

hard-court tennis is dead if Almagro wins this

RickyDimon , 1/22/12 5:39 AM

All I can say is that Almagro is giving Berdy quite a battle. I saw most of the first two sets and was surprised to see Almagro playing that well. I would have thought Berdy wins this easily.

Now they are locked in a tight third set, 1 set apiece.

Nativenewyorker , 1/22/12 6:55 AM

Almagro can play on hard courts. He gave Tsonga a run for his money one year at the AO if I'm not wrong.

luckystar , 1/22/12 7:15 AM

I guess so, because he has given Berdy a really tough match. This has been a battle all the way. The one thing that I can say is that Berdy is the one who stepped up in the tiebreaks. He won both easily. Almagro didn't play well in the tiebreaks. But he has held his serve. Almagro has surprised me with his level of play.

Nativenewyorker , 1/22/12 7:43 AM

Berdych was the one that got hit and the crowd booed him. What the heck? That wasn't very nice.

huykle , 1/22/12 8:22 AM

Amalgro had his chances but couldn't take them. Managed to fluff all the tie breaks.
I know Rafa fans will be behind the sofa, but really cannot see this Big Bird beating Rafa.

deuce , 1/22/12 8:33 AM


I am like you. I take nothing for granted. I don't know that I will be behind the sofa, but I will have some nerves. I am very surprised that Almagro gave him such a tough match. Too bad that he blew it in the tiebreaks.


Almagro didn't hit him intentionally. He even went over to the net and immediately apologized. But Berdy wouldn't even look at him. It's not as if Almagro was just standing there and decided to take a shot right at Berdy. He was running and just got his racket on the ball and it happened to hit him.

The Aussie crowd booed Berdy because after winning the match, he refused to go to the net to shake hands with Almagro. Bad sportsmanship will be rewarded by vociferous booing on the part of the Aussies.

Nativenewyorker , 1/22/12 10:22 AM

just another typical outburst from the Czech and should be fined for his bad sportsmanship as well as his poor attitude. How was the Spaniard to know that he would stay standing rather than maybe anticipate where he might Czech realises that "it's not personal but just business" then he might becomea better person as well as a player. Dont need players like him on the circuit. Go home and take that attitude with you....

rommel , 1/22/12 12:13 PM

Berdych got booed because he was pouting. Honestly, it's time to grow up.

cherylmurray , 1/22/12 1:57 PM

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