Novak Djokovic Defeats Tomas Berdych to Advance at 2013 Wimbledon

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 03:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand during the Gentlemen's Singles quarter-final match against Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic on day nine of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 3, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic entered Wimbledon as a heavy favorite to reach the final, and he inched one step closer on Wednesday as he made quick work of Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals, en route to a straight-sets victory, according to Wimbledon's Twitter account.

Djokovic moves on to the semifinals, where he will meet Juan Martin del Potro, who also won his quarterfinal match in straight-sets, as he took care of French Open runner-up David Ferrer. Djokovic has a big challenge on his hands, as the 6'6" Argentinian is a former U.S. Open Champion and an Olympic bronze medalist.

Things started out a bit shaky for Nole in his quarterfinal match, but he seemed to get stronger as the match carried on. The first set was a virtual stalemate, as neither man could break the other's serve. In fact, there wasn't a single break point in the set.

Djokovic was able to persevere in the tiebreak and take a 1-0 lead, however.

Djokovic struggled to carry that momentum into the second set, as the No. 7-seeded Czech seemed rejuvenated after dropping the first set. Berdych broke Djokovic immediately after holding serve, and then held serve again to take a commanding 3-0 advantage in the set.

It was short-lived, though, as Djokovic stormed back to win the next four games and ultimately prevailed 6-4.

After coming back in the second set, Djokovic pretty much had a stranglehold on the match. Berdych remained competitive early in the third frame, but Djokovic broke Berdych's serve and he was never able to recover. Djokovic cruised to the finish line, as he took the third and final set by a 6-3 margin.

Most observers perceived that Djokovic had a much easier draw than the other top players heading into the tournament, so it was assumed that he would breeze into the final. Things haven't exactly gone as expected at the All England Club, with both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer bowing out early in the other half, but Djokovic has remained unaffected, as he has yet to drop a set.

While Djokovic made things look easy against Berdych in the end, there is no doubt that it was a potential trap match for the 2011 Wimbledon champion.

Berdych has had a great deal of success at Wimbledon, and grass happens to be his best surface. He shocked the tennis world by eliminating Federer in 2010 and reaching the final, so he definitely had the ability to do it again.

Also, Djokovic's 13-2 career record against Berdych heading into the match was deceiving. Berdych actually beat Djokovic in their last meeting prior to Wimbledon, as he came back from a set down to beat Djokovic in three sets in the Masters Series Rome quarterfinals on clay.

Clay isn't exactly Berdych's forte, so the fact that he was able to beat Djokovic on that surface was significant. A win over Djokovic would have marked the first time in Berdych's career that he was able to win consecutive matches against the No. 1 player in the world, but the stars simply didn't align for him.

Djokovic admitted after the match that grass isn't his best surface, but he was pleased with the way he competed against Berdych.

Djokovic showed a lot of mettle against Berdych, as he grinded out the first set and came back from a deficit in the second. He also showed how dominant he can truly be by controlling the third set and going for the jugular.

Nole was already the favorite just ahead of Great Britain's Andy Murray in the other half of the draw, and nothing that happened on Wednesday suggests that things will be any different moving forward.


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