Wimbledon: Tomas Berdych - Andy Murray
Andy Murray also took five sets to find a way past the hugely popular Jo Wilfried Tsonga, he did it almost in reverse fashion, taking the first two sets and looking likely to win in three and was then a break up in the fourth, before running away with the decider.
Berdych has passed under the radar this fortnight to reach his second Wimbledon semi and sixth last four slam appearance of his career. That is not a fantastic record for a player who has been a "contender" for a decade and he is often cited in "best player never to have won a slam " lists. He did win his previous semi here , beating Djokovic in three (!) , he had already seen off Federer in four in the quarters, but lost in the final in straight sets to Nadal. That was a hugely impressive run and who was going to beat Nole, FedEx and Rafa back to back in any slam tournament in 2010 !
You could argue that overall he has underperformed in those semis, but in addition to beating Djoko in 3, he took Robin Soderling who was playing out of his skin to five at Roland Garros, lost to Murray in NY ( 9-7 in 4th set tie break), to Wawrinka in 4 sets when Stan won his first slam in Australia , losing the last two on tie breaks and then to Murray in four, again in Melbourne. That was probably the easiest defeat, but he battled hard in each and all those defeats could have worked out a little differently.
Murray leads the h2h 8-6 but was behind in this series until early last year, the British player has won four in a row since, starting with that win at the Aussie Open and he has taken the last nine sets and all without the need of a tie break and it might be that he now has Berdych's number. But this is their first ever meeting on grass and the first time since his debut slam semi that Berdych has arrived in the last 4 without having met a top 5 player in the last 8 and he could have a freshness edge, especially after Murray's battle with JWT and runs to finals in Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros and Queen's all back to back and in build up . If Berdych is not mentally sacred by those recent h2h defeats, this should be close and I would not totally rule out an upset.
I think there is a little ill feeling, if not with Murray, then with his coach Ivan Lendl, Berdych said “I approached Ivan when he stopped with Andy the first time and asked him to work with me. “He basically said that he doesn't have the time and he didn't want to be involved in tennis. "Then he came back to Andy, so that's how it is.” That can always be a motivating factor, but I doubt he needs it.
The Czech player has looked very relaxed and spent an hour or two with the people queuing at Wimbledon last week and it feels like there is very little pressure on him, other than what he puts on himself and he seems that he is unwilling to do that .....“At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you can stand and say, okay, I've tried everything that I possibly can, I've done all what was there . “If you make it one day, great; if not, what can you do? “I mean, there are so many other guys that they have never reached a final, at least. "So that's how it is. "I still have some time. "I'm having another good run and I will try to continue that.”
I think the total games line is set too low at 36, that could be covered in three sets and Berdych has won at least one in all five previous slam semis and in three slam meetings with Murray.
over 36 games 1.917 Pinnacle Sports /Sportmarket Pro. I feel pretty much all the "over" lines are set too low
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