Berdych beats del Potro to reach Madrid final
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Madrid, May 13 (Xinhua-ANI): Number six seed Tomas Berdych won a tight semifinal against Juan Martin del Potro this Saturday to book his place in Sunday's final of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Berdych defeated Del Potro 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) in a match lasting two hours and 18 minutes in which there was little to tell between the two players on the blue clay in Madrid.
Perhaps Berdych, a more aggressive player that clay court specialist Del Potro, was favored by the faster surface in Madrid, as well as the atmosphere, which is said to make the ball fly faster.
While Del Potro played the vast majority of his shots from the baseline, Berdych was more willing to hit attacking shots and at times to advance to the net. The Czech won 12 points at the net, while he hit 41 winners to Del Potro's 30.
That aggression was enough to swing the match Berdych's way, though he was not without problems, such as when he allowed a 4-1 lead in the first set tiebreak to disappear after he was forced to wait after a spectator passed out in the stands as a result of the temperatures of well above 30 degrees centigrade on the center court in Madrid.
He had taken an early advantage in the second set by breaking Del Potro's serve in the first game, but Del Potro levelled matters in the sixth game and remaining games went with serve.
Berdych saw how Del Potro saved one match point in the tiebreak and had to defend a set point of his own, but a slightly wild forehand from his rival then allowed him to close out the match, when a third set was looking a distinct possibility.
He will now face the winner of the second semifinal to be played between Roger Federer or Janko Tipsaravich later this Saturday.