Berdych beats Djokovic to reach Wimbledon final

Tomas Berdych came of age as a grand slam star with a clinical destruction of new world number two Novak Djokovic to reach his first Wimbledon final.

The 24-year-old 12th seed showed his giant-killing act against Roger Federer was no fluke by overpowering his Serbian opponent 6-3 7-6 (11/9) 6-3 in today's first semi-final to reach his first slam final.



The world number 13 was watched by his father Martin and mother Hana, who flew in from the Czech Republic for the match, as he became the first Czech to reach the men's singles final at Wimbledon since Ivan Lendl in 1987.



"The feeling is absolutely amazing," he said. "It's tough to describe.



"For every young kid who first hits a ball, it is a dream to be in the final of any grand slam and Wimbledon is the tough one. It's definitely the biggest tournament for me. It couldn't be better."



Djokovic, whose run to the semi-finals enabled him to overtake Federer in the rankings, was competitive in the first set and had a glorious chance to level matters in a dramatic second set which tested the mental strength of both men.

The Czech served at 6-5 for a two-set lead only to drop his serve for just the sixth time in the Championships and then re-asserted himself to lead 6-2 in the tie break.



Amazingly, Berdych squandered five set points and Djokovic had two set points before bringing the tie-break to a sudden and anti-climactic end with a double fault.



The Serbian, who was hoping to mark the occasion with the 300th win of his career, never recovered from that setback as he quickly subsided to his 99th defeat.



Berdych had earlier picked up from where he left off against Federer in his quarter-final by hitting 34 forehand winners, compared to just 10 by his opponent, and averaging 125mph with his first serve.



The 6ft 5in Czech has a big forehand and an even bigger serve, as Federer discovered to his cost, but he has gradually developed an all-round game and he took his new bag of tricks onto court against Djokovic.



An elegant baseliner, his talents were recognised as far back as 2003 when he first entered the tour but he lacked the mental edge to make them count, or so everyone thought.



That began to change earlier this year in Miami, where he beat three top-10 players in a row, including Federer, and his big breakthrough came in Paris last month with his first grand slam semi-final appearance.



He brought confidence into Wimbledon and, after going one step further, will now seek to become the first Czech winner since Jan Kodes, who triumphed in the strike-hit year of 1973.



Berdych began with his 88th ace of the Championships and even Djokovic, one of the best returners in the game, was not able to make much impression on his booming serve.



The first deuce did not come until the fifth game and the first break point came in the next, which went to the world number 13 after Djokovic put a forehand into the net.



Berdych then comfortably served to close out the set with the aid of a crisp forehand winner.



When a seesaw second-set tie-break went against Djokovic, the end came rapidly.



Angry with himself for letting the chance slip away, his mood was not helped when he was given a code violation after kicking his chair over at the changeover.



While Berdych strengthened his grip with a series of comfortable holds in the third set, Djokovic appeared to lose focus and successive double faults in the eighth game enabled his opponent to gain a crucial break.



This time Berdych maintained his concentration, successfully serving out to secure another famous victory.



Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Voices
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
voices
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living