Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) – Tomas Berdych picked a good time
to end his lengthy losing streak to Rafael Nadal, while Andy Murray continued
his run toward another Australian Open final.
Tuesday’s first men’s quarterfinal was never close and the second wasn’t much
Berdych became the first player to stamp his ticket into the Aussie Open
semifinals following a shocking 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) win over Nadal in the
year’s first Grand Slam event.
Murray, a three-time Aussie Open runner-up, then dispatched Aussie Nick
Kyrgios, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.
The third-seeded Nadal was able to fend off a pair of match points in his
final service game of the third set, but was unable to overcome a 5-2 deficit
in the tiebreaker. With the No. 7 seed Berdych up 6-5, Nadal sent the backhand
of Berdych’s serve into the net and the Czech officially put his straight-set
triumph into the books.
Berdych had dropped 17 consecutive matches to last year’s Aussie Open finalist
Nadal, a streak that dated back to 2007. He also reached his second straight
Aussie Open semifinal..
Murray was in command throughout and didn’t face a break point against his
serve until the seventh game of the third set. He advanced to the semifinals
for the fifth time in the last six years, bouncing back from a quarterfinal
loss to Roger Federer in 2014.
The sixth-seeded Scot broke for a 4-2 lead in the first set and won a tight
tiebreaker in the second before breaking serve for another 4-2 lead in the
third. Kyrgios finally answered with a break, but Murray responded with one of
his own for a 5-3 edge and held serve to finish the match in just over two
Men’s quarterfinal play will continue Wednesday. Defending champion Stan
Wawrinka will face Kei Nishikori and the evening match will feature four-time
winner Novak Djokovic against Milos Raonic.