Tomas Berdych eliminated Rafael Nadal in straight sets 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (5) in the Australian Open quarterfinals late on Jan. 26, after losing 17 previous matches to the Spaniard.
"I was ready for everything and I think that was the difference," Berdych said. "I started pretty well, but when you're playing Rafa you have to keep going to the last point."
Nadal had played only eight matches coming into the competition since June. The 14-time major tennis tournament winner suffered a right wrist injury and went through appendix surgery in early November.
"It is obvious that I needed something more to be more competitive," Nadal said. "As I said when I arrived here, the process always is not easy. When you have injuries, comebacks are difficult. But without being at my top level of tennis, I was able to be here in quarterfinals. Is not a bad result at all for me."
Throughout the match, it was obvious that Nadal was not at top form. It was the first time he lost a set 6-0 in any tournament since 2011, and it was also the first time he lost in straight sets since 2006.
Nadal made it interesting toward the end of the match; he saved two match points in the third set and sent the set to a tiebreaker. Nadal cut it to as close as 6-5, but Berdych finally ended the match on his fourth match point of the night.
Berdych will face Andy Murray in the semifinal, after Murray defeated Australia's Nick Kyrgios in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3.