Roger Federer had been eliminated from the 2010 Wimbledon tennis tournament by Czech player Tomas Berdych in a huge upset. The past two days have seen other favored players fall from competition including Venus Williams, and Andy Roddick.
Just a month after reaching the quarterfinals at the French Open, Berdych finds himself in the last-four at Wimbledon. The conditions were perfect on Centre Court Wednesday, and Berdych turned in the biggest result of his career, denying Federer on his quest for his seventh Wimbledon title.
The match finished in two and a half hours 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. As a result, Federer will drop to third in the South African Airways ATP rankings when they are announced Monday.
“I don’t think I played poorly,” said Federer. “But I think he went after it. I think he’s been able to play more consistent last year or so, and I was just not able to defend well enough and I didn’t come up with the good stuff when I had to.”
Federer also cited a knee injury that has been bothering him over the last few matches.
“But I’ve been feeling bad [due to leg and back stiffness] for the last two, three matches now. It’s just not good and healthy to play under these kind of conditions. So if there’s anything good about this it’s I’m going to get some rest,” said the Swiss international.
The former world No. 1 has now lost just six times in 61 matches at Wimbledon.
It is the first time Berdych has been to a semifinal at Wimbledon and he will face Novak Djokovic, who defeated Lu Yen-Hsun 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Djokovic lost only 12 points during his 13 service games, and won 15 service points in a row on the way to winning 26 of his first 28.
Lu was coming off a big win against American Andy Roddick, who might have jumped to the favorite spot had he not been eliminated in the previous round.
“Nothing is easy these days, especially at this stage of the tournament,” Djokovic said. “But the way I played, I deserved to win. I was hitting all the shots and I was really playing very solid from all parts of the court. I’m very, very happy with the performance today.”
The Serbian’s best finish at Wimbledon came in 2007 when he was forced to retire from his match with Rafael Nadal with a foot injury. Djokovic says he is more fit in 2010, and is ready for the challenge of winning a Grand Slam event.
“This time physically I’m fitter,” Djokovic said. “Those were very strange conditions and circumstances. I had to play three very long matches in three days and couldn’t hold on in the semifinal. This time everything is in order and I’ll give my best.”
Tennis sportsbooks have now set Rafael Nadal as the favorite to win his second Wimbledon title at 3/1 odds. Djokovic is a little further down the list at 8/1, and Tomas Berdych is among the underdogs at 20/1.