Welcome to “Match Notes,” a new segment on TTI which is everything it promises to be.
- Berdych consistently returned to the Nadal backhand
- Nadal elected to stand well behind the baseline to return serve for the majority of the match, yielding short returns and facilitating Berdych’s desired first strike game plan
- Nadal hit six double faults and only won 6/21 of his second serve points
- Berdych made much progress approaching to Nadal’s backhand; he was also able to make some inroads going hard and deep into the forehand, which can be a very risky tactic against Nadal
- Throughout the match, we saw super clean, deep returns from Berdych
- Berdych’s movement also seems much improved; he was less exposed moving laterally than he has been in the past
- Nadal repeatedly beaten by Berdych’s inside out forehand (Berdych did well to use the angles, rendering Nadal’s lateral defense almost useless)
- Berdych bailed himself out at 4-4 in the third set with some timely aces after losing three points where he hit a cross-court approach shot
- Nadal attempted adjust in the third set to counter Berdych’s out-wide serve on the deuce side by moving closer to the baseline to cut off the slider
- Berdych kept his cool after letting a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak slip; he crushed a second serve at 5-4 and ended the match with some audacious hitting at 6-5.
- This is Berdych’s first win over Nadal in 17 encounters
- His last win over Rafa came all the way back in 2006
- Nadal has not won the Australian Open since 2009
- Berdych will face Andy Murray in the semifinals, who worked with the Czech’s new coach, Daniel Vallverdu, until the end of last season.
- Berdych has successful defended his semifinal points from 2014
What were some of your notes from last night’s quarterfinals? Sound off in the comments!