Federer battles back to take victory
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:15
Federer, who has won every one of their previous seven meetings since losing to Berdych at the 2004 Olympics, took three hours 29 minutes to get past the 20th seed and book a last-eight date with Juan Martin Del Potro.
At once stage Federer looked in serious danger of failing to reach the quarters at a grand slam for the first time since Roland Garros in 2004, but used all his experience to progress with a 4-6 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-4 6-2 win.
The world number two got off to a poor start, dropping his serve in the opening game. He was broken again in the fifth when Berdych got back from 40-15 down to nail a cross-court forehand winner to take a 4-1 lead.
The second set was much tighter but this time Federer got the early advantage, holding his serve to love then breaking his opponent in the next for a 2-0 lead.
But again Berdych rallied, breaking the Federer serve for the third time in the match and holding his own to level things 2-2. The remainder of the set went with serve, forcing the tie-break. Berdych made the breakthrough on the Federer serve and a simple volleyed winner on the next point put him two sets up.
Breaks of service littered the start of the third set but Federer made a vital breakthrough at 3-3 when Berdych, on serve, sent a backhand slice wide then smashed an easy volley into the net to give his opponent a 4-3 lead.
It was all the three-time Australian Open champion needed and at 5-4 up he served for the set, clinching it with an ace.
Federer clinched an up-and-down fourth set at the second opportunity before the world number two raced out to a 5-2 lead in the decider as Berdych started to falter.
Federer made a meal of serving for the match, wasting two match points, but he eventually sealed the win with two aces – his 19th and 20th of the match.