• Djokovic battles Berdych for Rome semis

    5/17/13 3:47 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Djokovic battles Berdych for Rome semis Novak Djokovic will take on the Czech Tomas Berdych, with the winner advancing to the semifinals on Saturday.

    Matchups don't get much better for Novak Djokovic than this one. The world No. 1 has played Tomas Berdych fourteen times since 2008; the only match Berdych won was at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.

    It's no accident that Berdych won their only match on grass. Djokovic is least effective on grass and Berdych's game often works best there.

    The problem for Berdych is that Friday's match is on clay. The Czech has proven himself competent on the dirt, but Djokovic is much better than just competent on clay. Berdych simply doesn't move well enough to keep pace with the Serb, especially on clay.

    The only question mark for Djokovic is a dodgy ankle that has been giving him problems on and off for a month. He has been in good form this week, but if he's at all hobbled, Berdych is experienced enough to take advantage.

    Prediction - Djokovic in straight sets.

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I am still debating whether to set my alarm clock for this one or not ;).
Advantage Nole but you never know.

danica , 5/17/13 7:31 AM

Agree with Cheryl, although she needs to let got of the dodgy ankle thing, Novak in straights.

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 8:12 AM

"Djokovic is least effective on grass and Berdych's game often works best there." What has Berdych done on grass outside Wimbledon 2010? That match had more to do with the respective players' form more than anything else.

samprallica , 5/17/13 9:42 AM

ritb: Djokovic is just keeping up with the others. Dodgy knees, dodgy back(s), dodgy ankle.

ed251137 , 5/17/13 11:00 AM

the only difference being that we know what nadal has = patellar tendinitis whereas with Andy has some disk problems but as far as I know we don't have any diagnosis (or mabye we do, just don't know) and Novak, who knows?

Shireling , 5/17/13 12:19 PM

Commies start off by telling us that Djokovic was hounded out of Madrid by a hostile crowd which wanted him out so Rafa's chances of winning could be improved.

Poor Dimitrov, I'm sure he thought he had something to do with Djokovic's ouster in Madrid!

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 2:06 PM

Djokovic to prevail after a stern test

tennis2011 , 5/17/13 2:18 PM

Hoping Berdy has a good day at the office and makes a match of it.
French TV commies are still yakking about the ankle.

ed251137 , 5/17/13 2:23 PM

Nole is looking very much in control of this so far.

ed251137 , 5/17/13 2:30 PM

There is no stern test coming. Berdy's shot selection is so predictable he practically telegraphs (well, maybe tweets, in this day and age) where he is going to place the ball!

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 2:38 PM

Berdych being destroyed

willmw101 , 5/17/13 2:38 PM

Djokovic massive favorite for rome title on this form. Especially compared to rafa's form in Rome.

willmw101 , 5/17/13 2:43 PM

^^^Funny, that is exactly what is being said about Federer! So, there's 2 favs for Rome.....

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 2:46 PM

@ ribt,

"Commies start off by telling us that Djokovic was hounded out of Madrid by a hostile crowd which wanted him out so Rafa's chances of winning could be improved."

I heard that too!!!! They are so full of it!! Thats why I have long time ago lost all respect for them!! A bunch of Federer opologists!!!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 2:47 PM

What does Berdych have to do to be a decent mover on court? He just seems so.......heavy. I am sure his game would improve by leaps and bounds just from a small improvement in his movement.

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 2:52 PM

RT @bgtennisnation: "So easy for Djokker ATM when he plays the Birdman, to much speed defuses the power and forces TB to over play,also takes that believe away "

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 2:57 PM

@2:38 PM lol. But so true. I've often pondered why Berdy does not do better against the top guys more often. That's the answer.

ed251137 , 5/17/13 2:57 PM

no one is saying fed is the favorite. LOL

willmw101 , 5/17/13 3:00 PM

willmw101, clearly you do not tune into FM Federer!

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 3:02 PM

Is there anything uglier than Berdych's shorts?

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 3:04 PM

djokovic is clearly the favorite though. Conditions in rome suit him as well, ball doesn't bounce that high and its a very slick clay court.

willmw101 , 5/17/13 3:08 PM

Thank goodness this will be over soon, then we can see a real contest, Rafa/Ferru!

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 3:13 PM

Marian Vajda will be happy, no?


Conspirator , 5/17/13 3:15 PM

Marian Vadgina is very pleased with this performance.

willmw101 , 5/17/13 3:17 PM

and out of nowhere, Berdych breaks. Odd.

cherylmurray , 5/17/13 3:24 PM

Mrs & Mrs Nole are in the house so clearly believe he is the favourite to win.

@ 3:04 PM: Yes. Stephanek's.

ed251137 , 5/17/13 3:32 PM

How is that odd? Isnt that what the Bird is supposed to do?! I guess he is not much of a birdbrain, afterall?

Monalysa , 5/17/13 3:32 PM

^^ It's odd because he didn't get so much as a whiff at a break point for the entire match and now he's broken serve twice in a row. I think "odd" is apt.

Berdych serving for the second set.

cherylmurray , 5/17/13 3:35 PM

Does this mean Rafa's match is going to be delayed? If yes, not best pleased............

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 3:35 PM

Two consecutive breaks no less.


ed251137 , 5/17/13 3:36 PM

Monalysa, it's odd because it seems like Berdy has only just turned up.

nadline , 5/17/13 3:36 PM

Ahh!!! Well, hoping Berdych can serve it out!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 3:38 PM

^^^Or Novak's gone walk-about....

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 3:38 PM

Two set points and a slightly tired-looking Djokovic. Wowzers.

cherylmurray , 5/17/13 3:38 PM

And there's the set.

cherylmurray , 5/17/13 3:39 PM

Koenig asks, "What was that all about?"

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 3:40 PM

Maybe its his ankle agian!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 3:41 PM

THe ankle will be all fine if Rafa or Fed are on other side of the net ;-)

sanju , 5/17/13 3:44 PM

that was simply unbelievable stuff from novak.....and not in a good way. Can't afford these sorts of ridiculous concentration lapses if he wants to win the tournament.

tj600 , 5/17/13 3:45 PM

Oops, Berdy took a set off Novak!!! How is that possible?!!! Whats this all about?!! Berdych has always played Novak this is too be expected!!!! Berdych is in the top 10, you know!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 3:45 PM

Apparently Novak is not happy with the court surface and that has disrupted his concentration.

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 3:46 PM

Steve Tignor ?@SteveTignor 22m RT @russellcfuller: Andy Murray has had his back scan & is expected to decide over the weekend whether to play at Roland Garros.

sanju , 5/17/13 3:50 PM

No Monalysa, berdych has NOT "aways played novak tough". Not only is their head to head lopsided in novak's favour, most of their matches were easy straight set encounters for nole.

tj600 , 5/17/13 3:51 PM

GREAT stuff from Berdych. That was an excellent point.

cherylmurray , 5/17/13 3:51 PM


ed251137 , 5/17/13 3:54 PM

Hope Berdy can keep up the intensity!!!.............................but I almost hate it when they break so early, too much pressure on the server!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 3:56 PM

Don't worry, Berdy will remember who he is playing soon enough and fold...........

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 3:58 PM

exacly Novak will clinch it eventually.

sanju , 5/17/13 4:04 PM

Shocking, really. Also we just had an earthquake. Unexpected morning all the way around.

cherylmurray , 5/17/13 4:06 PM

Nole will take control now. He's just remembered he's in Rome and it's a Masters.

ed251137 , 5/17/13 4:08 PM

If Berdy breaks here, bye bye Nole!!!!!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 4:10 PM

But odd that Djokovic should collapse like that..............

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 4:10 PM

Djokovic will still win this easily in the end. 6-4 djokovic final set. Berdych will crumble.

willmw101 , 5/17/13 4:10 PM

Had this been Rafa trailing Berdy, there would have been nothing but denigration, what a difference in opinion because it's Djokovic. Yesterday I had to go to another site to avoid everyone slagging Rafa off.

nadline , 5/17/13 4:13 PM

berdych going to choke big time.

willmw101 , 5/17/13 4:15 PM

The Berdy collapse begins.......

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 4:17 PM

I agree Nadline!! THANK YOU!!!!!

Do you know that in many other tennis sites a lot of fans slag Rafa fans for that VERY same thing!!!! We are being accused to the point of disgust as to how terrrible and diffident we are about Rafa and his game, so smuch so that Novak AND Roger fans have to come to Rafa's defence............what a shame!!

But here we are so convinced that Nole is gonna win this seeing how well Berdych is holding his own!!! Hope Berdy can close this once and for all!! Nuff said!!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 4:17 PM

Berdy missed the moment when he failed to get that double break. Djokovic is not going to let this go now. Berdy is tensing up.

ed251137 , 5/17/13 4:19 PM

theres the choke. So predictable. Djokovic so lucky. Djokovic wins.

willmw101 , 5/17/13 4:20 PM

Madrid against Wawa.....

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 4:20 PM

Berdych fighting to hold onto the break. Gotta tip your hat..

cherylmurray , 5/17/13 4:22 PM

I have!!!!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 4:27 PM

There is no way Berdy is going to serve this out, he will choke..............

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 4:27 PM

nole looks so determined now! I am so afraid of that face!

rafaelo , 5/17/13 4:28 PM

3 match points for his second ever win over the world No. 1.

cherylmurray , 5/17/13 4:30 PM

looks like i am wrong :D

rafaelo , 5/17/13 4:30 PM

Berdy please hold your nerve. Take a deep breath.

ed251137 , 5/17/13 4:30 PM


rafaelo , 5/17/13 4:31 PM

Horrific from berdych, just thrown it away. So predictable. djokovic so so lucky.

willmw101 , 5/17/13 4:33 PM

Shit, the winds got up.

ed251137 , 5/17/13 4:33 PM

game over :D

rafaelo , 5/17/13 4:33 PM

will, you are HILARIOUS. I'll bet you drive the other posters on here positively MAD though. :D

cherylmurray , 5/17/13 4:34 PM

I cannot believe Berdych did not choke.....


rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 4:34 PM

LOL this is djokovic's worst season so far since 2010. Huge from berdych

willmw101 , 5/17/13 4:34 PM

Oh my Oh my..what just happened

This is a BIGGGGGG ONE for Berdy and massive collapse from Novak seving for match in 2nd

sanju , 5/17/13 4:34 PM

Go, Berdy go!!! :) well done!!

Shireling , 5/17/13 4:35 PM

Great win for Berdy!!! GREAT!! Show why your're in the top ten!!!!!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 4:36 PM

Whoever designed the tennis scoring system is a genius. Almost the same score as the Rafa/Ernie match. Berdy was absent in the first set it wasn't that Nole was playing that well.

nadline , 5/17/13 4:37 PM

More than Novak losing, Im more happy that if Rafa beats Ferru, he doesnt have to grind against Djoko and get worn out before RG

Fed is the fav for title now as hell be so fresh, he has like minnows in QF n SF, its a joke :-)

sanju , 5/17/13 4:37 PM

Wow. Just wow. Well done you.

But whatever happened to Nole's ROS?

ed251137 , 5/17/13 4:37 PM

With this result, if Rafa beats Ferru he goes into RG leading in the Race to London.....

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 4:39 PM

congrats to big birdy! He wins fair and square.

rafaelo , 5/17/13 4:39 PM

I didnt c the match, not telecast in India?

Did Novak play that badly or Berdy caught fire?

Its unusual to see him losing from being 5 2 up in 2nd set

sanju , 5/17/13 4:41 PM

"Fed is the fav for title now as hell be so fresh"..........................NOT if Rafa is at the other end of the court!!!!

Monalysa , 5/17/13 4:41 PM

Mona.. not so sure as I am sure Rafa will be very tired, hes played a lot , hes made like 7 finals non stop , played like 35 matches already in 3.5 months. And his QF n SF are far far tougher on ppaer than Feds which is a joke.

sanju , 5/17/13 4:43 PM

^^^Monalysa, let the Rafa doomsayers have fun. We will keep our faith in Rafa.

nadline , 5/17/13 4:43 PM

too big from Berdych

RickyDimon , 5/17/13 4:44 PM

nadline..u taking a shot at me?Lol..I gave my reasons , not that I have no faith in Rafa. I just think hell be a bit tired, hes played a lot in past 3.5 months

sanju , 5/17/13 4:44 PM

I was just going to say... geez, how is Fed favourite for this? how many titles has he won this year?

Shireling , 5/17/13 4:44 PM

Shireling..Fed is no fav by virtue of his form, just see how his draw has opened up..its a joke

sanju , 5/17/13 4:46 PM

Remember the AO final! rafa is never tired for Fed :)), if rafa is mentally there, and if he reaches final, then he will win ;) the match up is so easy for rafa now a days!

rafaelo , 5/17/13 4:48 PM

RT @scamber73: "Big win for Tomas Berdych over @DjokerNole - Djokovic lost his way from 6-2, 5-2 up - maybe he wants @RafaelNadal to regain No 4 spot "

rafaisthebest , 5/17/13 4:53 PM

Some people will find the most spurious reasons to talk Rafa down, that's all.

nadline , 5/17/13 4:56 PM

If Rafa wins against Ferrer, he still has a tough match against Berdy. But it would be better than an exhausting match against Djoker.
The best part about Rafa meeting Fed is that a match against Fed is never a grind.

sanju, you are right. Fed's draw is a joke.
He must have counted on Djoker eliminating Rafa after a slugfest. Djoker then totally exhausted. Fresh from beating minnows, the Fed would have taken out Nole and praised himself, how wonderfully I am playing, I am still the best.
Anyway I am cheering for Fed on his side of the draw (if Rafa wins against Ferrer today).
Rafa-Fed matches are the best because they are super high quality, not grinding and there's a high probability that Rafa will win.

holdserve , 5/17/13 5:05 PM

Nole lost to avoid his 20th loss to Rafa.

If Rafa beats Ferru, Rafa will lead the Race to London.


Conspirator , 5/17/13 5:31 PM

Who will be the first to graduate from Club 19?

deama , 5/17/13 8:41 PM

Hey look the high schooler's trying to use its peanut brain to psychoanalyze the world no. 1. For someone who trumpets their wit over torres9 it still thinks exactly like him.

ts38 , 5/17/13 11:02 PM

You're right willma Djokovic is totally having his worst season since 2010! And your boy still got trounced by him in his Monte-Carlo fortress!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

ts38 , 5/18/13 1:26 AM

So far, I read a lot of variations on the topic as to why Nole lost. If this is some kind of tactics, that some suggest, then I would be very, very disappointed.
I guess, RG will give some answers...

danica , 5/18/13 3:03 AM

I fail to see why he would bother to go up 6-2,5-2 then tactically lose from there. Now the only way this will be forgotten is if he wins RG. If he doesn't win it his clay season will have been a failure despite the MC win.

chr18 , 5/18/13 3:35 AM

I don't think djokovic outright tanked the match, but at the same time I don't think he killed himself to win either. He just didn't seem to care about the match tbh.

tj600 , 5/18/13 3:49 AM

I really dislike any talk or even suggestion of tanking. There is absolutely no reason for Nole to tank a match, especially the last Masters clay court tournament before RG. He's the #1 player in the world and that carries with it a good deal of pride.

It would be one thing if it was just a bad day at the office, but Nole didn't play badly. Berdy did step it up in that second set and was pounding his flat dtl forehand and backhand for winners. He was out hitting Nole and dictating the points.

I do not agree that Nole didn't care about the match. Also, it's not about killing himself for the win. He was up a set and it was 5-2 in the second set. All he had to do is serve it out for the win. He doesn't give matches away.

Nativenewyorker , 5/18/13 5:11 AM

Novak did not tank the match. He sent a special tweet in Italian, Serbian and English apologizing for his loss saying he really wanted to win this tournament. That is not the action of someone who did not care. Wy would he haul his mother and still recuperating father to come and watch a match he intended to tank? Nonsense but then I am not surprised at the source of this chatter: fedbots. They are flaying looking for excuses for their rear-gunner.

If Novak does not win RG, watch them desert him like rats in a sinking ship.

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 5:31 AM

.....but then again I am not surprised some of these fedbots are not aware of Novak's latest statements, they do not like twitter. Like their idol, they are suspicious of technological progress. I mean Fed had to dragged kicking and screaming to accept hawkeye......

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 5:35 AM

I'm sorry, did you say fedbots are the source of the tanking speculation??? Let me help you out here ritb.

Nole lost to avoid his 20th loss to Rafa.
If Rafa beats Ferru, Rafa will lead the Race to London.
Conspirator, 5/17/13 5:31 PM

ts38 , 5/18/13 6:19 AM

My reading of @Conspirator's post is different from yours, ts38

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 6:27 AM

Unbelievable. yeah it's better for the nadabots to believe that it's Fedbots who are talking of tanking. Not at all surprised.

scoretracker , 5/18/13 7:49 AM

Forgot to congratulate Berdych on a great win. He was ecstactic.

scoretracker , 5/18/13 7:51 AM

This is for Twinge, I am interested in your take on how the season is unfolding so far. You have been consistent in the following so far:

1. Djokovic's wins very tournament he enters;
2. Rafa will take a long time to reach the level of Andy and Novak after his long break from the game;
3. Fedal is finished, it is Djoray season now;
4. Rafa cannot beat Novak.

What is your take in view of the fact that Rafa is now leading in the Race to London? Do you still hold the same views?

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 8:35 AM

Nole will do fine. He is not losing to nobodies like Rosol. I will begin to worry when that happens. For now, all's well in nole land. He could use some extra rest before the French.

Go Nole.

JamesDjokovicFan , 5/18/13 12:11 PM

Of course your reading of that post is different without offering any kind of explanation. You a)don't want to admit to being proven dead wrong, and b)you and the high schooler share your hatred of Federer and have your heads so far up Rafa's butt that you feel the need to defend it.

ts38 , 5/18/13 12:14 PM

ts38, I do not hate Federer. Judging by your use of profanity I would say you are the one with a player obsession, not me. And by the way, don't take yourself too seriously, I do not owe you any explanation.

And what is it with you people and people's butts? Projecting, much?

Oh, so Rosol is a nobody now? chr18 will not be best pleased.

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 12:24 PM

You're right, you don't owe me anything. But without an explanation you're just another poster throwing around baseless accusations to try and demonstrate how awesome and victimized your boy is. I'd like to see what profanity I used on this thread though. And since "head up the butt" is apparently an expression you've never heard before (liar), I guess I can't blame you for thinking I care about Nadal's.

ts38 , 5/18/13 12:45 PM

A victim with 11 Slams, leader in Masters Shields helds? Ha, we should all be victims! No, you don't care about Rafa, you just can't help writing about him. Which tennis player do you support btw? Oh don't tell me, of course it's Rafa, you write about nobody else.

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 1:01 PM

Apparently ritb does not know what profanity is. Or maybe she's seeing things that aren't there. She should lay off the pipe and rest imo.

chr18 , 5/18/13 1:32 PM

Of course, chr18, you don't need tweets to figure me out! Hehehehe!!

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 1:37 PM

Let's keep on topic, shall we?

cherylmurray , 5/18/13 1:42 PM

Apologies, Cheryl.

Okay, chr18, you heard cheryl, I am interested in your opinion on the Djokovic/Berdych result and how this affects Djokovic's RG chances. Care to tell?

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 1:52 PM

.........I thought so. You are not interested in talking tennis, only bashing Rafa.......

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 2:06 PM

chr18, 5/18/13 3:35 AM

chr18 , 5/18/13 2:13 PM

lol chr18.

tj600 , 5/18/13 2:26 PM

Thank you, chr18. Lately I had taken to scrolling over your posts.............

rafaisthebest , 5/18/13 2:36 PM

How come cheryl you reminded the posters here to stay on-topic but turn a blind eye to rogervic aka tennisnba's " arrogant, selfish Nadal" babble posted as a constant refrain everywhere? Do you think it is on-topic on every thread?

holdserve , 5/18/13 3:29 PM

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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