x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Berdych powers past Djokovic to reach Wimbledon final

The Czech shows his giant-killing of Roger Federer was not a fluke in his straight sets win over the Serbian world No 2.

Tomas Berdych is the first Czech to reach the men's final at Wimbledon since Ivan Lendl in 1987.
Tomas Berdych is the first Czech to reach the men's final at Wimbledon since Ivan Lendl in 1987.

Tomas Berdych came of age as a grand slam star with a clinical destruction of the new world No 2 Novak Djokovic to reach his first Wimbledon final. The 12th seed, 24, showed his giant-killing act against Roger Federer was no fluke by overpowering his Serbian opponent 6-3, 7-6 (11-9), 6-3 in today's first semi-final to reach his first slam final. The world No 13 was watched by his father Martin and mother Hana, who flew in from the Czech Republic for the match, as he became the first Czech to reach the men's singles final at Wimbledon since Ivan Lendl in 1987. "The feeling is absolutely amazing," he said. "It's tough to describe. "For every young kid who first hits a ball, it is a dream to be in the final of any grand slam and Wimbledon is the tough one. It's definitely the biggest tournament for me. It couldn't be better."

Berdych took the opener in 33 minutes with a single break and served for the second at 6-5, but Djokovic revived his chances with a break of his own to take it to a tiebreak. Djokovic's hopes of a comeback were effectively dashed when he double-faulted to lose the tiebreak 11-9 after Berdych had let slip a 6-2 lead. Berdych broke for a 5-3 in the third after another double fault from the Serb, and sealed the victory in the next game when a service return flew wide off Djokovic's racket after two hours and 18 minutes. Berdych smiled and clenched his fist towards his entourage in celebration. He will play either Spain's Rafael Nadal or Briton Andy Murray in Sunday's final. * Agencies