Djoko Chokos Again!

2010 Wimbledon Championships
By Hiland Doolittle, July 2nd, 2010
Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

When the big games were on the line, Tomas Berdych rose to the occasion and Novak Djokovic pulled a familiar disappearing act. This time it was on the game’s biggest stage; Centre Court at the All England Club. As a result of his 6-3, 7-6 (9), 6-3 victory, a lightly tested, fresh Berdych will play in the Sunday finals of Wimbledon with resounding wins over top seed Roger Federer and number three seed Novak Djokovic under his belt.

In the first set, Berdych jumped on Djoko’s serve grabbing a 15/40 lead. Under pressure, the Serb came up short with a forehand and Berdych has converted a break, whi9ch he followed with a love game to build a 5-2 lead.

The Czech star used power to push Djokovic around the court. His serve was more powerful than Djokovic’s, his groundstrokes were awesome and his brave net charges constantly yielded success. Before Djokovic knew what had hit, Berdych owned the first set and showed no signs of cracking in the second.

The second set was competitive despite Novak Djokovic’s noticeable limp. At 5-5, Novak fell behind 0-40 before striking a powerful ace to close the gap. At 15-40, the Serb over-hit an overhead smash and lost the point.

Sensing that his biggest triumph was at hand, Berdych suddenly seemed nervous. After the change of courts, the Czech played his worst game of the match. He double faulted a key point and held off two breaks before badly missing a backhand, nervously low into the net.

Despite the break, Djokovic seemed annoyed. He quickly gave up one mini-break and then dug an even deeper hole at 6-2. The Serb put together his best run and courageously saved four set points. The players traded points until, at 8-9 Djoko double faulted.

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Djokovic has only come from two sets down once in all his Grand Slam matches. That was five years ago. Berdych loosened up in the third set. At 3-4, Novak double faulted twice as if to say he had had enough. This time Berdych did not blink. He led with his big serve and followed with two knockout punches to surge into the finals. The Czech will have to play looser in the finals but he certainly has the game to go al the way.

Berdych also won the tale of the tape. The winner smacked 11 aces, crushed 34 outright winners and committed a relatively low 22 unforced errors. Djokovic won just 27 of 102 return opportunities. Djokovic has come up short in big moments. It will be interesting to see how he rebounds from this one. Meanwhile, Berdych will rise to his highest ATP ranking at number 8. More importantly, he will be swinging away on Sunday at Wimbledon.


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