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Berdych Advances After Djokovic Retires

Eleventh seed Tomas Berdych reached the Wimbledon semi-finals on Wednesday after a sudden retirement from second seed Novak Djokovic. The Serbian stopped play due to a right elbow injury with Berdych leading 7-6(2), 2-0.

“This is the reward. This is why I go to the court every day, why I go practise, why I do all the things that I have to do for my career and for my results,” said Berdych. “I can’t be in a better position before Friday’s match.”

Tomas Berdych beats Novak Djokovic on Wednesday in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
Berdych is into the last four at Wimbledon for the third time in his career, having finished runner-up in 2010 and posting a semi-final finish last year. The 31 year old improves to 3-25 against Djokovic in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry. Two of those victories have come at Wimbledon, including a straight-sets win in the 2010 semi-finals.

Standing between Berdych and another final at the All England Club is third seed Roger Federer, who defeated sixth seed Milos Raonic in straight sets. Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head 18-6 and has won their past seven matches, including two victories this year at the Australian Open and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami. The Swiss star has won two of their three grass-court matches, picking up victories at the 2006 Gerry Weber Open and Wimbledon championships, while Berdych prevailed in the 2010 Wimbledon quarter-finals.

“I think he's the greatest of them all. It's a great challenge to have the opportunity to play him,” said Berdych. “I’ve probably never seen him play better tennis than the match we played in Australia, then I had a match point in Miami and almost beat him. Hopefully the third one is the lucky one for me.”

There were no breaks in the opening set, but Berdych raced through the tie-break to take the early advantage. Djokovic then took a medical timeout after the first set. He dropped serve to trail 0-2 in the second set, then played one point in the next game before retiring after 63 minutes of play.

The elbow injury is a disappointing end to his grass-court season, particularly since he had rounded into top form in recent weeks. The three-time Wimbledon champion won his first ATP World Tour title in nearly six month at the Aegon International (d. Monfils), then cruised into the quarter-finals this fortnight without losing a set.

”It’s really hard to swallow when you have to retire, especially when you're playing well. I was playing the best tennis I've played in the last 10 months or so. I felt really good on the court,” said Djokovic. “It's just unfortunate. But in life, these particular things happen for a reason. It takes some time and thinking to understand why this happened, and to learn from it.”

Source: http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/djokovic-berdych-wimbledon-2017-wednesday

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