(November 8, 2013) LONDON – When Stanislas Wawrinka defeated a finally fully-wearied David Ferrer, all the talk in the post-match interviews was all about a place in the semi-final. And with good reason as his qualifying place depended on the outcome of the evening match between Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych.
As the match started with a typically driven Nadal was drilling through break points with ease, and no-one was really surprised when he kept that single break advantage in the first set 6-4.
Perhaps what was less expected was the revival from Berdych in the second set, racing ahead to a 5-0 lead before Nadal was allowed to register a game on the board.
By now the crowd was alive because they had wanted a thriller to savor, Wawrinka was perhaps sweating a little, and Berdych was playing like he had absolutely nothing left to lose.
If the crowd watching thought the final set would see a capitulation to the World No. 1 (as can so often be the case) they were sadly mistaken as the pair beat themselves up to holds, with thundering blows in every game.
Berdych blinked first – two double-faults handing Nadal a 5-3 advantage. A blitz of unforced errors sealed the deal – something that Berdych would be the first to admit in his post match press conference:
“It’s difficult to say I would do it different. I mean, from the beginning of the second set, my level of game was quite high and I kind of felt that I’m going really on the edge, especially on my serve. With him, it’s always very tough.”
Nadal finishes Group A with a perfect 3-0 record. He’ll face the winner of the Roger Federer – Juan Martin Del Potro Group B round-robin match in the semi-final on Sunday.
Tennis Panorama News is in London covering the ATP World Tour Finals. Follow our twitter updates from the tournament @TennisNewsTPN.
More to follow…