Wimbledon 2013 Results: Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic on Collision Course
Each player took perfectly contrasting paths to their quarterfinal victories Wednesday, but all that matters is Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic came one step closer toward securing a tantalizing Wimbledon final.
On paper, it seemed as though Djokovic had the more difficult match of the top two players in the world.
Who will win Wimbledon?
He was facing World No. 7 Tomas Berdych, the big, overpowering 27-year-old who made it to the final at the All England Club in 2010.
Murray, meanwhile, was going up against Fernando Verdasco, the 54th-ranked player in the midst of his first ever quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon.
Still, if there's anything we learned during the first eight days in England, it's that unpredictability reigns supreme on the grass this year—and unpredictability was exactly what we got once again.
Note: A look at the complete results from all of Wednesday's action can be found here at Wimbledon.com
Novak Djokovic Rolls Over Tomas Berdych, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-3
Berdych entered this match with just two career wins over Djokovic, but they were both significant—once here at Wimbledon in 2010 and once in their most recent match on the clay in Rome.
Nevertheless, Djokovic was too much for the 6'5" Czech.
The first set was close. Djokovic tallied a spectacular nine early aces to control his serve. However, he wasn't able to convert any of his four break point opportunities as his opponent hit some wonderful winners to stay close.
In the end, Berdych's 12 unforced errors proved to be too much, and the World No. 1 jumped to a one-set lead via a hard-fought tiebreak.
Berdych stayed calm. He came out firing on all cylinders and accomplished an incredibly rare feat against Djokovic, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Novak Djokovic was broken in 1st 2 service games of 2nd set by Tomas Berdych; in 1st 4 rounds, he was broken 2 times in 57 service games— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 3, 2013
Serving up 3-0, however, he started with a double fault and the match was never the same. Djokovic's confidence returned and he displayed some superb baseline tennis the rest of the way, never allowing Berdych even a sniff of working his way back into the match.
Although it was closer than the straight-sets victory might suggest, in the end it was really just another clinical performance from the 26-year-old, who reached his 13th straight Grand Slam semifinal.
On Friday, Djokovic will face Juan Martin del Potro, the man who defeated him for Olympic bronze at the All England Club last summer.
Andy Murray Stages Epic Comeback Against Fernando Verdasco, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5
While Djokovic's quarterfinal win was a tale mostly of dominance, Murray's was one of composure and perseverance.
After Verdasco—an underrated player who was clearly at the top of his game, mind you—jumped out to an impressive two set lead, it appeared all but certain that Murray was going to join Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Serena Williams in the group of severe disappointments.
But where the old Murray may have broken down and accepted defeat, the new World No. 2 and Olympic gold medalist Murray fought back and refused to quit.
He won the next two sets in emphatic fashion, and we entered what would prove to be a memorable back-and-forth final set.
Facing a potential break, Murray set the tone by winning this unbelievable rally to even things up at one game apiece.
From there, neither player would break as they continually put together incredible rallies followed by impressive winners. In the end, though, Murray would finally break Verdasco to go ahead 6-5 before holding serve for the incredible match win in front of a raucous, pumped-up crowd.
Even the Scottish National Party was enthralled, per 101 Great Goals:
Many will point to this as an underwhelming win for Murray that suggests trouble for the future, but it's quite the opposite. Very few players would have beaten Verdasco on Wednesday, and the Brit's comeback only proves his mental game is just as strong as his physical one.
He will now face up-and-coming Polish star Jerzy Janowicz, a 6'8" 22-year-old with a massive serve and loads of potential.
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