• Nadal, Berdych square off in Australian Open quarters

    1/23/12 8:56 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal, Berdych square off in Australian Open quarters A place in the Aussie Open semifinals will be on the line when Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych clash on Tuesday. The winner will go up against either Roger Federer or Juan Martin Del Potro.

    Rafael Nadal and Tomas will be meeting for the 14th time in their careers when they do battle in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Tuesday night.

    Nadal is dominating the head-to-head series 10-3, including 5-3 on hard courts. Berdych once led the series 3-1, but it has been downright miserable for him against Nadal ever since the start of 2007. The Spaniard has won nine in a row and eight of those in straight sets. Nadal has won an incredible 21 of their last 22 contested sets.

    Nadal's level of play during the first week of the tournament won't give Berdych much hope of turning the tide. Coming off a Doha loss to Gael Monfils and a freak--but minor--knee injury after his arrival in Melbourne, the 2009 Aussie champion has silenced a bunch of questions. Nadal has not come close to dropping a set in whitewashes of Alex Kuznetsov, Tommy Haas, Lukas Lacko, and Feliciano Lopez.

    At the same time, though, Berdych appears to be on a similar path to that of Nadal. The seventh-ranked Czech did not play any warmup events and was nursing a slight shoulder problem, but he played stellar tennis throughout the early rounds. Berdych took out Albert Ramos, Olivier Rochus, Kevin Anderson, and Nicolas Almagro to set up this showdown with Nadal.

    "He's looking really strong," Berdych said of Nadal. "Ten matches I already lost to him. So it would be nice to try to change it a little bit, but I know that it's gonna be really extremely tough."

    Making it all the more difficult for the underdog is that the crowd will be firmly on Nadal's side. Nadal is already a fan favorite, plus the Aussie faithful absolutely lit into Berdych following a controversial fourth-round win over Nicolas Almagro after which the No. 7 seed refused to shake his opponent's hand.

    Crowd aside, this may not be a fun day at the office for Berdych. His past history against Nadal is dreadful and he is coming off a grueling four-set contest while the world No. 2 has been crushing people in swift fashion. Count on another straight-set victory for Nadal.

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Vamos Rafa

nadline , 1/23/12 9:04 AM

Berdych did play the Hopman Cup and won for the Czech Republic so he did have some warm up before this AO. I do agree that it'll be difficult for him to beat this Rafa.

luckystar , 1/23/12 9:25 AM

All I can say is I hope Ricky's prediction comes true and Rafa wins in straight sets.

Good luck, Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 1/23/12 9:41 AM

Berdych will take a set. Rafa in 4.

Emiliano55 , 1/23/12 3:49 PM

two of the biggest hitters against two of the best of all time. A great line up for tomorrow. federer's got a tougher test but rafa's opponoent is also tough. Tomorrow we should get good indications about the form of FEDAL

vamosrafa , 1/23/12 4:27 PM

I regret it will be a night match strictly for my own selfish reasons (I have a workshop to conduct and will not be able to watch :-( I'll watch the replay and I hope it will be worth watching :-)...It seems better schedule for Berdy though as he kind of complained about being tired from playing in the heat...

Both matches will be more than interesting...I wonder if Berdy is still angry at Almagro and decides to take it on wouldn't be wise to attempt to do such a thing...

Vamos Rafa!!!

natashao , 1/23/12 4:56 PM

Hopman is minimal practice

RickyDimon , 1/23/12 5:08 PM

Here's hoping:

1. Fed and Delpo have a mammoth tussle and whoever wins emerges a shadow of himself in the semis;
2. Rafa does one huge Vamos plus a fist-pump in the first set, sending Berdy cowering into his shell for the rest of the match, Rafa reaching the semis with no fuss.


rafaisthebest , 1/23/12 5:31 PM

I hope Nadal shows Berdych how to play the game like a true gentleman --- magnanimous in victory! I hope the Aussie crowd will have more reasons to applaud than to jeer this time.

tellimflos , 1/23/12 7:13 PM

Good luck Rafa. Hope you give the ill-mannered Tomas a tennis lesson. Vamos.

deuce , 1/23/12 7:53 PM

Vamos Rafa, all the way to the finals!!

Maya , 1/23/12 10:38 PM

Hope this would live up to the expectation, five setter.

sabs , 1/24/12 6:36 AM

^^^ the expectation is NOT a five-setter!

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 6:52 AM

@Ricky - haha

atul1985 , 1/24/12 7:33 AM

I think Rafa has broken his opponent to begin with in every match till now..hasnt done to Berdych

sanju , 1/24/12 9:47 AM

Berdych hitting massive forehand groundies..Rafas backhand in first 2 games again loopy with high net clearance

sanju , 1/24/12 9:51 AM

@Sanju: Berdych is level above his previous opponents

Bonker , 1/24/12 9:52 AM

2 breakpoints gone (:-

Yes bonker Berdych is far levels above..huge first serve

sanju , 1/24/12 9:58 AM

Is Nadal his breakpoint conversion % dropping? I remember that he usually needs just one chance to break.

Bonker , 1/24/12 10:01 AM

Where are all the rafans? Too busy watching the match?

Bonker , 1/24/12 10:19 AM

Yes, that's the general idea.

Nativenewyorker , 1/24/12 10:21 AM

Rafa's 2nd serve return is letting him down.

nadline , 1/24/12 10:26 AM

not really impressed with rafa's play so far.He had been hitting BIG with his forehand in the previous rounds and any ball slightly short was punished with a big flat inside out forehand but he has reverted to using heavily spun forehands till now... oh LOL, as i was writing, rafa upped the level of aggression with his forehand..its 4-4..come on rafa !

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 10:26 AM

and agree with nadline, 2nd serve return needs to be improved.Actually , he is stepping in to return 2nd serves for the first time in the tournament because he was content with returning 2nd serves of previous opponents from far back. Now he is trying to catch the returns earlier so may be he needs a little time to adjust (rafa usually is not so good with taking ball on the rise when returning serves). I hope he holds here, first set is important . Tomas is hitting well

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 10:31 AM

Berdych is really taking it to Rafa..Rafa looking very very tight..this match so far is at a far far higher quality than the entire Fed Delpo match

I think Rafa will settle only if he wins the first set, else till then he'll be tight

I think both are playing well.

sanju , 1/24/12 10:34 AM

Looks like we are heading for a tie-breaker

sabs , 1/24/12 10:39 AM

aaaaaa... rafa IS hitting good forehands and backhands BUT he has not been consistent so far...too many loose shots from rafa so far ... force a tie break rafa and sweep it ! vamos

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 10:40 AM

3 SP averted

sabs , 1/24/12 10:46 AM

Oh berdych!!! Typical chocking!!!

bleck , 1/24/12 10:47 AM

VAAAMOS you beauty Rafa...VAAAAMOS.....

vrael , 1/24/12 10:49 AM

one more SP gone

bleck , 1/24/12 10:49 AM

Berdych has chocked and is all set to give away the First Set in the Tie breakers! The momentum has gone Nadal's way the moment he saved those 3 break points!

solitudine , 1/24/12 10:50 AM

Berdych deserves this first set... he's the slightly better player! But not taking your chances will hurt you against Nadal

Bonker , 1/24/12 10:50 AM

i havent seen the BIRD play so well....amazing...but rafael is winning this one...VAAAMOS

vrael , 1/24/12 10:53 AM

SP on serve. Take it god damn it!!!!

bleck , 1/24/12 11:00 AM

wow....should have challenged when you could rafa...disaster

vrael , 1/24/12 11:01 AM

Aleluia. The better player won the 1st set after heavy choking.

bleck , 1/24/12 11:02 AM

cant believe,it, thought rafael had averted the danger when he saved those set points, that 2nd set pnt was fabulousl saved but now he loses the tie break and ..... :( that 5-5 incident was not pleasent

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 11:02 AM

Berdych deserved this set, being the slightly better player! Nadal has his work cut out for him... Federer the only one left whow hasn't lost a set btw :-)

Bonker , 1/24/12 11:02 AM

What a sigh of relief after Tomas took that first set finally, he really deserved it much more than Nadal, the way he played.
Now he should go all out and attack Nadal's service right away, he has nothing to loose in this match and should be able to do what he did to Federer in the Wmbledon 2010.
Best of luck Tomas!!

solitudine , 1/24/12 11:03 AM

Rafas body language down..he hasnt been able to shrug off the 1st set tiebreaker loss.

Berdych is really taking it to him.

God Rafa had you challenged the call on time? What a nerd you are

sanju , 1/24/12 11:06 AM

The way Tomas lost the break point at 15-40, what should we call this? Nervous break down or inexperience?? Unbelievable! Shows why Nadal get away so many numerous occasions against less fancied opponents from such precarious positions..

Anyway, Tomas still has a chance and should take the opportunities thrown at him as much as possible!

solitudine , 1/24/12 11:08 AM

How many BP has berdych had?

bleck , 1/24/12 11:09 AM

Once the umpire has declined a challenge they never change their minds so it's pointless arguing with them.

nadline , 1/24/12 11:09 AM

THe lines persons are doing a horrible job in this match ..I think almost 3-4 calls were horrible in 1st set

sanju , 1/24/12 11:09 AM

Nadal will win it in 4....dont worry Rafans
So Funny to see these Fed fans coming and supporting Berdych...they are so scared at the prospect of Rafa meeting Fed..haha

atul1985 , 1/24/12 11:09 AM

well thats your view, i say nadal deserved that tie break because of the way he saved that set point at 15-40 ! incredible. tomas had more openings on rafa's serve so in that way he deserved more but the way rafa saved those set points he also deserved it !
A break of serve is needed here , come on rafa

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 11:10 AM

berdych wasted what 10 BP??!!

bleck , 1/24/12 11:12 AM

Berdych is 0 for 7 in breakpoint conversion.... Second set will be very important. I don't see Nadal coming back from a 2-set deficit this time.

Bonker , 1/24/12 11:12 AM

This would go five and rafael will be the winner.

sabs , 1/24/12 11:14 AM

The set point saved at 15-40 can be the point of the tournament

sanju , 1/24/12 11:15 AM

Rafa will take this. Tomas can't physically compete with Nadal, he'll run out of gas.

nemanja230690 , 1/24/12 11:19 AM


Nothing new from the Fed fans. They do this all the time. Same old, same old.

They could care less about Berdy. Any way to put Rafa down, that's what they do.

Nativenewyorker , 1/24/12 11:20 AM

Well, it's so funny to see some of the people here, who are perhaps hardcore Nadal fans, thinks I am supporting Berdych fearing Nadal as Federer's opponent in the Semi Finals. From the perspective of a Federer fan, one would really want Nadal to be in the Semis because that would give Federer a chance to avenge the 2009 AO Final loss! Are people forgetting the WTF match where the mighty Fed toyed with Nadal as if he were a novice? :))
The only reason I am supporting Tomas here, because of the way he is playing today and despite having a huge potential he haven't got the result that he deserves!

All in all, a good five setter is all I am looking for irrespective of whoever wins;

solitudine , 1/24/12 11:22 AM

yaaay, Nadal breaks

atul1985 , 1/24/12 11:27 AM

Actually Rafans, Solitudine is an out and out Rafa hater, who doesn't need an excuse to root against him. She spends months in her dark hole when Rafa is winning and only comes out at night.

nadline , 1/24/12 11:27 AM

And there's the first break.... If Berdych doesn't grab his chances, Nadal will. Nadal will serve out this set, I think.

Bonker , 1/24/12 11:27 AM

THATS THE WAY RAFA,THATS THE WAYYYYYY !!! excellent game from rafa and now awesome serving to to consolidate so quickly! nice way to build momemtum, a federer-like hold that was. I hope he keeps up the level

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 11:28 AM

Oh please, give me a break! It's not about Fed fans wanting Berdy and not Rafa, it's about hating on Rafa! Period!

Yay Rafa! He got a break and Berdy is out of challenges!

Keep on fighting! You can show these Fed fans what class looks like!

And if Fed fans are here to instigate and rile up Rafa fans, then don't think it won't go unanswered.

Nativenewyorker , 1/24/12 11:29 AM

"... a federer-like hold..." LOL

bleck , 1/24/12 11:30 AM

VAAAAMOS RAFAAAA...kill the bird....:P

vrael , 1/24/12 11:30 AM


You said it right! Happens all the time!

Where is ritb? I promised to be here to help him/her get through this match. If the trolls keep it up, I am just going to watch the match and stay off here. I don't want this trash talk to spoil my viewing of Rafa's match.

Vamos, Rafa!!! You can do it!

Nativenewyorker , 1/24/12 11:32 AM

@bleck, yup...federer is so good with such speedy holds so that hold from rafa was federer-like in nature just as one of federer's forehand today against delpo was nadal-like in nature, the one curled in down the line like rafa's banana shot :)

@solitudine, really??? HAHAHAHAHAHA

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 11:32 AM

@native, just ignore the troll ! we have our own support group here for our champion , *High-five to all rafans here on TT* ! VAAMOOSSS

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 11:35 AM

Solitude - we all know ur soon as Rafa is down, you come out of the closet like a cockroach to start supporting the other guy...your comments are very funny though, so go on:-)

atul1985 , 1/24/12 11:36 AM

Berdy is on the way down.

sabs , 1/24/12 11:37 AM


vamosrafa , 1/24/12 11:37 AM

WTH ! such a poor call from the umpire !

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 11:40 AM

WTF...what a shame...the line calling and the umpiring has been atrocious....what a shame

vrael , 1/24/12 11:43 AM

cant believe this, Rafa cant close out the set

atul1985 , 1/24/12 11:43 AM

Berdy broke back???
Sanju, whats happening? Berdy is too hot or rafa's level is down?
Btw I am not watching the match, but following the scores

sabs , 1/24/12 11:44 AM

Berdych breaks back... didn't see that coming, especially after two very convincing service games from Nadal. Very interesting to see if Nadal can raise his level after the break, or that Berdych comes back strong in this set.

Bonker , 1/24/12 11:45 AM

rafa must be feeling everything is going against him , poor way berdych could have returned that service ! good returns from berdych but really gutted at that call .

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 11:46 AM

Dude I am a Rafa fan and let me say this - Rafa doesnt deserve to win this match, when you serving the set and if you cant serve it have no business to win this

Thoroughly disappointed with Rafa and his passive play towards end of second set

sanju , 1/24/12 11:46 AM

sabs..Rafas level is atrocious since past 2 sets..hes too passive and being bossed around

sanju , 1/24/12 11:47 AM

sorry sabs meant past 3-4 games after he was 5-2 up

sanju , 1/24/12 11:48 AM

Can anybody point to the live streaming link of this match....

fedexal , 1/24/12 11:53 AM

Fedexal, try on

Ssunn , 1/24/12 11:56 AM

Thanks Sanju..

I hope Rafa will take this second TB

sabs , 1/24/12 11:57 AM

What I've been noticing of lately (2011) is that nadal is less clutch than what he used to be. He gets broken back much more often. Can't close sets when serving.

Definitely less stron mentally which was/is one of his greatest strenghts.

bleck , 1/24/12 11:58 AM


RickyDimon , 1/24/12 11:59 AM

Well look at how far from the baseline is he standing..his returns land so short..his groundies land short..Berdych is an aggressor, hell pounce on it

sanju , 1/24/12 12:00 PM

1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, 4-1, 4-2

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 12:04 PM

Im suporting Rafa, and I am sure all fed fans want to Rafa go through. How can anybody think that Fedal semi is not desirable!

anatolijs , 1/24/12 12:06 PM

4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 5-5

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 12:07 PM

@anatolijs, Very true.

sabs , 1/24/12 12:10 PM

5-6, 6-6, 7-6, 8-6

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 12:11 PM

nadal saves a SP and wins the 2nd set.

bleck , 1/24/12 12:12 PM


sabs , 1/24/12 12:12 PM

Phew Rafa fans. 1 set each. Wonder if Berdych can carry on with this form?
Why oh why is Rafa so far behind the baseline especially to receive second serve? He's making life so difficult for himself.
Excellent, tight match though :)

deuce , 1/24/12 12:13 PM

Nadal wins the second tiebreak after surviving a setpoint. Also deserved by Nadal, as he was the slightly better player in the second set. Should have won it 6-3 though...

Bonker , 1/24/12 12:13 PM

WEll 2nd set to Rafa..sorry but Id still give Berdy advantage in this match to win it..mainly as Rafa is standing way behind baseline and playing..Get closer to baseline Rafa for gods sake

And yes Fed is in the final..the person coming from this quarter final will be so famished, hell be chopsticks for Fed who'll be so well rested and fresh..

I hope this match doesnt go the Verdasco Rafa 2009 semi way..has all indications though

sanju , 1/24/12 12:14 PM

There are more Fedfans rooting against Rafa here than were cheering for Federer in his match.

nadline , 1/24/12 12:15 PM

Berd doesn't have the advantage when it's one set all after 2 hours and 25 minutes

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 12:16 PM

Berdy is serving so well and he is not giving Rafa chance to get a rythm.

nadline , 1/24/12 12:17 PM

3 more BP. Can berdych take one??!!!

bleck , 1/24/12 12:20 PM

2-0 Bird

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 12:20 PM

yes, but nadline, Rafa is too far behind the baseline even when he gets a second serve :(

deuce , 1/24/12 12:21 PM

Rafa is so nervous this whole match, that's because he's afraid of this QF jinx at the AO. I really hope he can change his tactics for the rest of this match and get a win. I believe if he wins this QF, he'll play better in the semi. Vamos Rafa!

luckystar , 1/24/12 12:21 PM

Love such tight matches where each point is like the Match Point!
It would be nice to see this match go the distance, with both players holding on to the same level of intensity and not giving up physically.

Tomas is up 2-0 right now. Hope he could hold on to this lead till the end to get this set to keep the match alive..
But, he is down 0-40 in his own serve now..

solitudine , 1/24/12 12:22 PM

Berdych off to a flyer in the third..... Really thought Nadal had the momentum to push through and all of a sudden it changes again. I'm wondering how much more Berdych has in his tank after the Almagro match. Nadal didn't waste any time on court and his stamina has always been bigger then Berdych's.

Bonker , 1/24/12 12:23 PM

He takes one!!!
This match started to remind me of the BP conversion rate for Roger in the 2007 RG final. lol

bleck , 1/24/12 12:23 PM

Berd not up 2-0 for long!

deuce , 1/24/12 12:24 PM

come on Nadal, if this match goes on for 5 will be very tough for rafa in the semi-finals

atul1985 , 1/24/12 12:25 PM

Ricky and others..but dont you think Rafa is several steps slower in this match? His body language is bad too

sanju , 1/24/12 12:25 PM

And a re-break by Nadal.... who wrote the script on this match, sure keeps the crowd wrongfooted. Momentum swings again

Bonker , 1/24/12 12:25 PM

errors starting to come

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 12:27 PM

Can't see Berd winning this, especially if it goes to 5. Has played better but doesn't seem to have the necessary steel in his soul.

deuce , 1/24/12 12:32 PM

I think Berdych is running out of gas

Bonker , 1/24/12 12:34 PM

Yes sanju. As I said, he's nervous and lacking in confidence. And yes, he's a step slow IMO. It's a shame that he allowed Berdy back into the second set and wasted so much energy winning it in the end. Plays like he does till 4-1 in the second set and he would have won thus match soon. Now he's simply making life difficult for himself.

luckystar , 1/24/12 12:35 PM

Hmm, coaching from Uncle Tone, naughty, naughty...

deuce , 1/24/12 12:39 PM

Can sumone please tell me why is Rafa standing so far behind the baseline? Berdy is bossing him and his groundies are landing way too short

sanju , 1/24/12 12:39 PM

^^^ because hes Rafa and thats how he plays

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 12:43 PM

Berd exploding now!

deuce , 1/24/12 12:45 PM

@lucky, u wrote exactly what i had in my mind. rafa WAS/IS darn nervous because of being out in the qtr finals in the past two years. And why is he standing soo far (he usually does stand far back but a little too much in this match ) ? the ans is that he is nervous right now and he has had hardly any success when returning serves close to the baseline...he wants a WIN here! that would do his confidence a lot of good

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 12:49 PM

i strongly hope this is not like that epic 5 hout 5 setter rafa played against nando in 09 ! Please rafa finish off this set and get the job done in 4

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 12:52 PM

Well guys, Rafa's starting to roll now and Berd is rolling over :)

deuce , 1/24/12 12:52 PM

Seems like Tomas has given up physically and looks very much like an ordinary player, very different from the way he was going in the first two sets.
It's the same old story for him, showing some glimmer of hopes with some amazing shot making & adorable service games and then slowly fading away just when expectations starting to rise!
Anyway, nice match for him still.

solitudine , 1/24/12 12:55 PM

Now look at rafa's return positioning ! much further up the court ! as soon as he gets the lead he moves in ! shows you HOW nervous rafa was in that 2nd set because you'l never see rafa further behind than that lol

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 12:56 PM

haha..utter crap, there is no evidence of tomas lacking it physically right now...rafa is returning better and with more 'calm', as he calls it.

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 12:58 PM

berdych nowhere near giving up. huge hold.

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 1:00 PM

Rafa has to serve out the set......I am not too bullish regarding his prospects given what he did in set 2

atul1985 , 1/24/12 1:00 PM

Rafa leads by 2 sets to 1.


nadline , 1/24/12 1:03 PM

Rafa off to the Baker's now?

deuce , 1/24/12 1:05 PM

oh yes, well done Rafa, now finish of set 4 quickly pls and serve energy

atul1985 , 1/24/12 1:06 PM

Tomas is making far more unforced errors than he was doing in the first two set. This last game itself which Nadal hold to clinch the set itself had 3 big unforced errors! If that can't be considered as Tomas giving up mentally and physically, what else can be? He is no more sending in a signal that he is still in the match which is evident from Nadal's body language and both now knows that there is no fight left in this match....

solitudine , 1/24/12 1:06 PM

the match is not over till last ball is played.

Pray Rafa had you challenged the call in 1st set tiebreak on time, by now you could have been home after the win

sanju , 1/24/12 1:10 PM


Rafa breaks. Please Rafa just hold your serve from now on, pleassssssssssssss!

nadline , 1/24/12 1:10 PM

all started to unravel when Berd lost his 2-0 lead with an awful loose game.

deuce , 1/24/12 1:11 PM

nadline take it easy. You're way too nervous, stress is bad for you.

nadal has the match in control now.

bleck , 1/24/12 1:12 PM

Solitudine why don't you go watch replays of Federer's matches all day, everyday and feel satisfied with yourself?

jean , 1/24/12 1:14 PM

"all started to unravel when Berd lost his 2-0 lead with an awful loose game"

Yes, good to know berdych had sets number 1,2 and 3 in his hand and it was him who lost them. The match was really in berdych's racket not nadal's.

bleck , 1/24/12 1:14 PM

Well bleck, the first one was Berdych's to lose, but the other 2 sets went fully deserved to Nadal.

Bonker , 1/24/12 1:20 PM

Solitudine, did they let you out for the day?

nadline , 1/24/12 1:20 PM

I'm not saying nadal didn't deserve them. I'm saying it were berdych's sets to lose. And he sure choked and lost them.

bleck , 1/24/12 1:21 PM

Berd can't volley can he? Bit of a disadvantage.

deuce , 1/24/12 1:23 PM

stick a fork in Big Bird

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 1:23 PM

Ricky ROFL
Um Bleck IMHO, sets 1 and 2 very, very tight. 3 and, looks like 4, not at all.

deuce , 1/24/12 1:27 PM

nadal returning MUCH MUCH better now

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 1:33 PM

how i wish this match to have gone to 5 sets for Rafa to be challenged more and gain more practice... ;-)

phoenix , 1/24/12 1:34 PM

some of these returns by Nadal......

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 1:37 PM

phoenix...yeah, right...;)

deuce , 1/24/12 1:37 PM

well Berdy digging deep..6-7 deuces in that match..its not over guys..Rafa holding serve is always a big Q

sanju , 1/24/12 1:37 PM

the way nadal is's always going to be a struggle against big hitters...djokovic would be smiling

vrael , 1/24/12 1:38 PM

^^^^ Don't wish for it because it might still happen.

Not really though. ;P

bleck , 1/24/12 1:38 PM

Boss..ridiculous..again surrender of serve

sanju , 1/24/12 1:41 PM

Nadal may regret not breaking at 3-1

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 1:42 PM

This is TENNIS!

cherylmurray , 1/24/12 1:45 PM

Oops phoenix, thought for a moment you were gonna get your wish...
Berdych has 2/13 break points. Key to match?

deuce , 1/24/12 1:45 PM

Berdych's BP conversion ratio is appalling. 2/13.

bleck , 1/24/12 1:46 PM

How's the score ? Australian Open page doesn't show the scoreboard!

Emiliano55 , 1/24/12 1:47 PM

Berdych keeps fighting.... But Nadal should pull this match over the finish

Bonker , 1/24/12 1:47 PM

Does this umpire hate Rafa? Diff rules for both..ridiculous

sanju , 1/24/12 1:47 PM

how better is rafa returning now? amazing ! and berdych has been getting full support from the umpire, again a disastrous call

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 1:48 PM

bleck...stating facts...not Wishing anything....:P

kill the berd Rafaaaa...VAAAMOS

vrael , 1/24/12 1:48 PM

4 Hours!

sabs , 1/24/12 1:50 PM

Nadal's returns

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 1:52 PM

I was talking about phoenix's post not yours.

And nadal is going to take this. Berdych needs 3 or 4 BP to convert one so this match is over.

bleck , 1/24/12 1:52 PM

Vintage rafa.....should end in 4 sets.....slightly worried about your wobbly knees rafa....:-/

vrael , 1/24/12 1:56 PM


RickyDimon , 1/24/12 1:57 PM

Emil, Rafa is leading 2 set to 1 and leading 5-3 in the 4th.

67 76 64 53

nadline , 1/24/12 1:59 PM

G S & M, Nadal!

nadline , 1/24/12 2:01 PM

Berdych had more BP chances than nadal. LOL

bleck , 1/24/12 2:01 PM

Well played Rafa :) He toughed it out! Now all you fans go and have a nice stiff drinky :)
And one of you please stand behind Rafa on the base line with a cattle prod for his next match.
Fedal, gosh I dunno, but Ricky picks Rafa and has been good so far.

deuce , 1/24/12 2:03 PM

Berdy had his tactics which worked for 2 sets, once Rafa worked them out, it was game over. I feel sorry for Berdy, because he played really well. This is the best match I have seen him play against Rafa, he will be crest fallen.

nadline , 1/24/12 2:03 PM

Nadal won... Got my wish, Federer vs. Nadal in the semis!
But first, Nadal needs to recover. This match cost him a lot of energy. Great win though, Nadal had to dig deep. Congrats

Bonker , 1/24/12 2:05 PM

deuce, I agree. I was thinking that they should draw a line which Rafa is not allowed to cross.

nadline , 1/24/12 2:05 PM

Rafa in 4, as I predicted. I saw half of the match, then i had to come to the office. Berdych choked as usual, but Nadal is playing really well and seems to be 100% fit.

Let's see how Roger can handle it, but I see Nadal advancing to the final in 4 sets too.

Emiliano55 , 1/24/12 2:06 PM


bring on Federer...:D

vrael , 1/24/12 2:06 PM

guys need your serious assessment about matchup with Fed?Both Rafans, Fedfans and Djoko ones too ;-)

I think with 4.5 hrs match play, I think Fed will have a huge huge advantage compared to Rafa.I hope that one goes to 5 ..

sanju , 1/24/12 2:08 PM

nadline, I think you should get that job..;)
Cheeringly for Rafa fans, he looked much better at the end than the beginning, his energy levels are good.
Berd had many chances but could not convert. Rafa had fewer but could. End of.

deuce , 1/24/12 2:08 PM

knewwww it , rafa was experimenting with his court positioning and the way he finished off the final set i am really satisfied ! returned soo much better and hit 15 winners alone in that set ! rafa hit more forehand winners than berdych lol and awww he thanked laver :)

vamosrafa , 1/24/12 2:09 PM

Bravo Rafa! I managed to watch the second set and the fourth...I will be watching replay to see exactly how it all went...Rafa needed this win so badly for his confidence...he needed to break through...he managed to get out of the trouble and to win...very difficult match...Berdy played great...his serving was simply amazing...but overall great, wonderful, encouraging win for Rafa!!!

Vamos Rafa!!!

natashao , 1/24/12 2:10 PM

if Rafa is 100 percent day after tomorrow...HE SHOULD WIN!!

vrael , 1/24/12 2:12 PM

I think with 4.5 hrs match play, I think Fed will have a huge huge advantage compared to Rafa.I hope that one goes to 5 ..
sanju , 1/24/12 2:08 PM

Where were you during OZ 2009?

nadline , 1/24/12 2:14 PM

Nadal d. Berdych - erdych_-_Rafael_Nadal

RickyDimon , 1/24/12 2:14 PM

Anyone seen Solitudine, is she back under lock and key?

nadline , 1/24/12 2:17 PM

Oz 2009, Rafa was young so he could recover quickly, not sure about it now...however this was not as bad as that match (5+ hrs)....4.15 hrs is ok with a day of rest

atul1985 , 1/24/12 2:19 PM

Hey guys!!!

I didnt get to watch all of the 4th set but I am really glad that Rafa he had it tough but its a good test for him and for his confidence as he will be more prepared for whats ahead. A Fedal semi..........mouth-watering!!! But Rafa needs to bring his A+++++ game bcos Fed is on a mission!! But of course Rafa knows this so he will watch the tape of this match a get a handle on what he needs to fix and prepare for this showdown with Fed!! To be honest, i really cant call this one as they are both playing well but of course I would like to see Rafa go thru so he can avenge all those losses against the Djoker!! Now that Rafa has gotten that albetros of the quaters off his neck he can proceed to the end!!


Monalysa , 1/24/12 2:21 PM

Ricky you kept saying "those returns!" any chance of setting eth scene and describing them to me as I missed the match. Thanks

willmw101 , 1/24/12 2:26 PM

nadline..but he was 3 years younger then and he was full of confidence and mental strength then..we all know hes not as fast as he was in 2009 and that his mental toughness has lost a bit of its sheen. Hes not in the same zone now..

sanju , 1/24/12 2:30 PM

Well played RAFA

sabs , 1/24/12 2:30 PM

willmw-- flat backhand crushing returns off Berdys serves in 4th (mostly second serves)..I think he hit like 5-7 of them in 4th..and the forehand bullets and passes in 4th were out of this world..

sanju , 1/24/12 2:32 PM

Thanks sanju,

Any chance of an overall appraisal of rafts performance today?

willmw101 , 1/24/12 2:37 PM

lol Solitude is gone now, no posts as soon as Rafa was ahead....

atul1985 , 1/24/12 2:39 PM

yes nadline and atul.. he/she has disappeared..Im sure will return in full force if Fed is leading on Thursday or wins :-)

willnw : Ricky has put a match report. I think this match will do his confidence a world of good. He overcame a 1 set deficit to win the match, he was set point down in 2nd and won it, he was the unfortunate victim of horrible line calls and an umpire who I think wasnt very fair , yet he overcame it all and won..

What worked : forehand for sure, backhand in 3rd and 4th (in particular was on song), court positioning in 3rd n 4th was far better, stood close to the baseline

What didn't : Second serve is a liability, passive play at times in 2nd set (esp wen serving for it ), backhand in first 2 sets had high net clearance

Neutral : First serve and first serve % ..but no much clutch serving I think which was his way to dig out of a hole.

sanju , 1/24/12 2:46 PM

Some people are like vultures, as soon as they get a whiff of Rafa's flesh they zone in for a good feast, sadly for them they go home hungry most of the time.

nadline , 1/24/12 2:50 PM

Something tells me all 4 wont reach the semis..3/4 will reach..though I want all 4 to reach and give us 2 excellent blockbuster matches.

sanju , 1/24/12 3:00 PM

I guess Nadal should'nt be that tired and exhausted for the SF against Federer because this was his first tough match . Moreover, if Berdych can stay with Nadal for 4 hours and that too after a long 4th round, Nadal should not have any issue.

I am very impressed with the way Nadal ended the match . He was returning awfully well and just goes to show he is confident and in the end I saw a thorough effort on Nadal's part to be aggresive and those backhands were like wow and importantly he kept the points short.

Usually Nadal's matches (even 3 setters) are around 2 hours and 20 minutes because he takes more time than others in between points. I don't think this match was as demanding as a normal Fed or Djoker's 4 hour encounter would be, physically.

Federer as well is playing damn good tennis, it will all boil down to how consistently Nadal can pummel Federer's backhand . Just hope that Fed does'nt have a huge serving day .

Tough to call but I have a hunch it will be an epic. Two tennis legends , 26 Grand Slams between them , all in last 8-9 years . Just cant get any better than this.

Hope Nadal wins this epic as I really like the look of him today and then he can rest for 2 days even if that match is a long one .

fedexal , 1/24/12 3:05 PM

nadal is losing the final if he makes it there. Djokovic will be waiting.

bleck , 1/24/12 3:15 PM

Fed says - But obviously I'd like to play Rafa because of our great epic match earlier in the finals here a few years ago. I'd like to get a chance to play him again here.

The man is on a mission , no doubt..Rafa buck up

sanju , 1/24/12 3:22 PM

Has Djoker made it to the finals ? Why are you jumping the gun , dear bleck.....
Djoker has his hands full with Ferrer and then AndyM . It sure wont be a cakewalk for somebody who played a 3 hour gruelling match with old warhorse Hewitt.

fedexal , 1/24/12 3:24 PM

Djokovic is almost a lock in the fnal. Of course he can lose but it isn't likely. What is also not likely is nadal winning a match against djokovic.

bleck , 1/24/12 3:39 PM

bleck, I would certainly be surprised if Nole didn't make the finals, but I wouldn't go so far as to call him a lock. Neither Ferrer nor Murray is a walk in the park. In fact, both players won their last meeting with him (though granted that was him either hurt or exhausted).

In any case, I'm quite looking forward to the Ferrer/Nole quarter.

cherylmurray , 1/24/12 3:45 PM

bleck..Rafa will worry about Djoko later..First he has to win against a better in form than him 'Federer'..Fed said he wants to play Rafa..the man is on a mission..This match I think is 60:40 advantage to Fed..however if Rafa plays like the 4th set..Fed will be blown off court..but Rafa cannot play that way for an entire match

I fear as usual Rafa will start slow n Fed will put his foot on the accelerator rightaway.

sanju , 1/24/12 3:50 PM

Andy will give him a real fight(I hope)
Ferrer (the fighter) will lost probably in straight sets after a fight!!

mani4Tennis , 1/24/12 3:50 PM

No one is a sure lock for the final. Don't count the chicken before they're hatched.

I went out after the second set tie break so didn't watch the 3rd and 4th sets. From the comments here it seemed that Rafa was returning better and raised his level of play. Good to hear that. Now that Rafa has broken the AO QF jinx, i think he'll be much more confident in the semifinal against Fed.

luckystar , 1/24/12 4:11 PM

, 1/24/12 3:39 PM

what is also unlikely is for you to ever support Nadal in anything so your completely biased opinion is of no relevance...

natashao , 1/24/12 4:21 PM

I think Nadal has to break early because Federer is supremely confident these days when he is in the lead early. I thought the way he played against DelPotro in the first four games was just out of the world .

Nadal has to win the first set at any cost and then maybe he can relax because I favor Nadal if the match goes to the fifth set or even it gets tight in the fourth set.

fedexal , 1/24/12 4:24 PM

"what is also unlikely is for you to ever support Nadal in anything so your completely biased opinion is of no relevance..."

Thank you for confirming what I suspected. If one supports and praises nadal then his/her opinion is valid and relevant to nadal fans. If however one does the opposite then his/her opinion is worthless and irrelevant.

Now this is what looks biased to me.

I expect nadal to lose against djokovic as I expect Roger to lose against nadal. I'm not blind like you. Of course I'll support Roger but the reality is nadal has the advantage (match up).

Roger winning against nadal is more likely than nadal winning against djokovic though.

Let's hope for a thriller on thursday and may the best player win.

bleck , 1/24/12 4:37 PM

folks..bleck may be a bit tongue in cheek..but I think she has guts to stand up for what she says, she usually doesnt rant and rub it in like some horrible Fedartds who pop once in a blue moon to rub it in..

I also think a Fed fan hoping for Rafa to lose before he faces Fed is natural..I mean he is his biggest nemesis..I think because Djoko is Rafas nemesis, most Rafa fans would also be happy if Djoko loses before facing Rafa..

Roger winning against nadal is more likely than nadal winning against djokovic though. - Well as of today this statement is true, but one never knows the future :-)

sanju , 1/24/12 4:53 PM

bleck, where's your mea culpa? Didn't you predict that Rafa would fall at the quarter final stage "as is his wont"?

rafaisthebest , 1/24/12 5:05 PM

, 1/24/12 11:32 AM

Yay, our boy's back!!!!! That was Rafa at his fighting best. The Bird brought his A++ game and Rafa out-hit him, out-powered him, out-everything him. Then he rubbed it in by breaking him to love to close the match................

Bring on Fed................

rafaisthebest , 1/24/12 5:09 PM

If Rafa gets to play Nole and play like he did in the 3rd and 4th sets, then he'll beat Nole. He just needs to stop getting nervous at times, which is what he says was holding him up at the beginning of this match.

RAFAEL NADAL: Maybe, but I think the level of the third and fourth set for me was very, very high, top level for myself playing on these courts. Very happy about how I finished the match. I think I finished playing at very, very high level.

The first set especially I felt that I started the match too nervous, no? I wasn't able to hit the ball long. My movements weren't enough strong, enough fast.

nadline , 1/24/12 5:28 PM

Nadline, we will be in the final.................

rafaisthebest , 1/24/12 5:29 PM

bleck, you spend more time in Rafa's spanish hacienda than you do in Roger's Swiss cottage. Why don't you go and eat some swiss cheese with Roger, before Rafa serves his some quelys to go with it?

nadline , 1/24/12 5:35 PM

^^^^^^^^^hahahaha, very funny!!

rafaisthebest , 1/24/12 5:38 PM


RickyDimon , 1/24/12 5:45 PM

bleck , 1/24/12 6:22 PM

"I expect nadal to lose against djokovic as I expect Roger to lose against nadal. I'm not blind like you. Of course I'll support Roger but the reality is nadal has the advantage (match up)" - bleck
That pretty much sums up my thoughts as well. Nadal is going to aim to break down Fed's backhand. It's hard to hit it so high over and over. Fed will have no cheap points either.
I go with Ricky's predictions from 10 days ago: Nadal in 4.

Bharata , 1/24/12 10:28 PM

, 1/24/12 4:37 PM

bleck, the reason why I have doubts about your objectiveness is that you spent the whole time on this thread cheering for the guy who trashed Fed at his beloved 2010 Wimby and you call yourself objective fan? The only objective thing about you is your hatred for Rafa, so all I can see is poison and bitterness in your words when predicting any of the Rafa's matches...I certainly did not cheer for Soderling against Fed in that FO final...

natashao , 1/24/12 11:55 PM

Well said natashao. It seems some Fed fans are more concern about how Rafa plays his matches than they are about Fed. Fear maybe? Worry, that Rafa beating Fed again or that Rafa surpassing Fed one day?

luckystar , 1/25/12 2:24 AM

"...Fedal, gosh I dunno, but Ricky picks Rafa and has been good so far." -deuce , 1/24/12 2:03 PM

This is what i'm worried about, when Ricky picks Rafa. :-(

phoenix , 1/25/12 5:53 AM

rafaisthebest, 1/24/12 5:09 PM,

Sorry, I know that I promised to hold your hand, but I just couldn't stand the haters so I left. I was on a Rafa fan forum and was too nervous to even watch that second set tb, so I followed the score there. I didn't watch the third set, either. Sometimes it's just too hard. The nerves get the better of me.

I know that I seemed calm in my earlier reply to you, but the truth is that I started having a bad feeling in the hours leading up to this match. I don't always say everything that I am thinking. I knew that Berdy was playing very well, had the game to trouble Rafa and that Rafa had not yet been really tested. However, I never thought it would be this difficult.

I did see the game at 3-1 Rafa in the fourth set where Rafa had chances to get that second break but Berdy fought him off. Then I turned it off and saw the last two games. I felt that once Rafa won the third set, he would pull out the win. I didn't go to sleep until 5:00 am!

I really think Rafa raised his level in the third and fourth sets. I did get to watch my recording of the match today. Rafa started returning from the baseline in the third set. Finally! He played more aggressive, started hitting some insane forehands, got real depth and penetration on his groundstrokes.

In the fourth set, Rafa really took it to another gear. I remember him hitting several cc backhand returns for winners. I haven't seen him hit that cc backhand shot that well in too long. Beautiful to see! It was like vintage Rafa. He was so pumped up, especially at the end!

It was a long, hard fought match against an opponent who played great, but Rafa won this on his mental toughness, his will to win and finally by playing some of the best tennis I have seen from him in a long time. One match does not cure all of Rafa's problems, but he needed this to find his way back. He dug deep and found some great tennis and a way to win.

It was great seeing Rafa's reaction after the match! Now that he won, the trolls are gone. I can finally share my thoughts about the match with other Rafa fans and just ignore some of the stuff from the usual suspects.

Nativenewyorker , 1/25/12 5:58 AM

OMG, want this badly....

sabs , 1/25/12 6:09 AM

Maybe we'll see a change in bleck now that she has declared her objectivity, because up to now she has backed anyone against Rafa. When Roger is playing she usually doesn't hae much to say.

nadline , 1/25/12 6:52 AM

Oh come on you guys 'n gals, compared with some of the horrible trolls we've had on here, bleck is "mild- mannered Clark Kent" personified.

deuce , 1/25/12 7:47 AM

Just to clarify, I wasn't referring to bleck when I used the term "trolls" in my last comment. That is a whole other issue. Rafa fans and Fed fans will rarely truly see eye-to-eye or agree.

If I have to be specific, the one person who came to mind was Solitudine. That is the main culprit who only comes around when Rafa is struggling or loses.

It's also hard for me, because I don't take cheap shots at Fed. I hold myself to a higher standard, also I have respect for Fed and don't hate him. I think with some Fed fans that is not the case when it comes to Rafa. Notice the use of the word "some".

Nativenewyorker , 1/25/12 8:36 AM

My personal opinion is I like Fed but some times I dont support him as his fans go crazy when hes doing well and he has many fans that spew too much hatred against Rafa.

So its not Fed whom we dont like/support, but the behaviour of fanatic Fed fans (and there are hordes who are spiteful against Rafa) that at times makes us not support him just to save ourselves from the thrash.

NNY : Which is Rafa fan forum you logon to? Please give link.

sanju , 1/25/12 9:13 AM


It's But you have to be a registered member to be able to fully participate. Nadline told be about Rafaholics. I think that's the sight. I haven't really gone there much.

There is also Rafa's official forum - I am registered there, but haven't been there for ages.

I am sure that I will have to go to a Rafa fan forum to live blog the Rafa/Fed match. I do love my friends here, but I know what it's going to be like.

Crazy time!

I will check in now and then, maybe stay. I have to see how I feel.

Nativenewyorker , 1/25/12 10:19 AM

Sorry, I am so tired from being up all night that I can't type straight.

Nadline told ME about Rafaholics. I think that's the SITE.

I can't think and can't spell, so now I will get some much needed sleep in preparation for another long night.

Nativenewyorker , 1/25/12 10:21 AM

A friend of mine, who's incredibly superstitious, believes Rafa rises in a even year and wanes in an odd year. 2007, 2009, 2011 vs 2008, 2010, 2012? Hmm, food for thought. Anyway, just caught a replay of this match and he ended it superbly. Have not seen Nadal with that sort of fire in his game since USO 2010. And he enjoyed it. The glint, the spark in his eyes was back. Perhaps, just perhaps, the rekindling of the warrior has begun.

storyteller , 1/25/12 1:22 PM

storyteller, I so hope your friend is proved right, it's something that's been mentioned before.

nadline , 1/25/12 2:04 PM

Have not seen Nadal with that sort of fire in his game since USO 2010. And he enjoyed it. The glint, the spark in his eyes was back. Perhaps, just perhaps, the rekindling of the warrior has begun.
, 1/25/12 1:22 PM

My sentiments exactly sir/madam!

rafaisthebest , 1/25/12 2:35 PM

Current ATP-rankings

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