Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) – Tomas Berdych picked a good time
to end his lengthy losing streak to Rafael Nadal.
And Tuesday’s first Australian Open quarterfinal was never close.
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.
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.
The other quarterfinal will pit sixth-seeded Andy Murray and 19-year-old heavy
Aussie crowd favorite Nick Kyrgios. Murray is a two-time major titlist
who’s lost in three Aussie Open finals.
Seven of the top-eight men’s seeds reached the quarterfinals, with No. 2 Roger
Federer being the lone exception.