LONDON - Crisp-hitting Czech Tomas Berdych claimed the biggest win of his career when he stunned six-time champion Roger Federer 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4 in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon yesterday.
Federer was simply outplayed by his 24-year-old opponent, who consigned the Swiss maestro to his earliest defeat at the All England Club since 2002 and became the first Czech to reach the semifinals since Ivan Lendl in 1990.
"It's amazing to play in this stadium, such a great player Roger is, it's amazing," said the 12th-seeded Berdych after the contest.
"Toughest game of my career to serve out, I'm very happy." From the moment Berdych claimed the opening point with a rapier-like forehand winner the Centre Court crowd could sense a classic contest was in the offing.
A stray backhand from the Swiss gave Berdych the opening set after 34 minutes.
The Berdych forehand was starting to fire but Federer took an early break in the second set to go 2-0 up, and unleashed a mighty "come on!" when he levelled the match.
Berdych stepped up another gear in the third, a sumptuous half-volley helping him to a break for a 2-0 lead. A second break for a 5-1 lead and a service bomb wrapped up the set.
Berdych got the crucial break for a 4-3 lead in the fourth, and kept it together to serve out the match. - Reuters