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post #15 of (permalink) Old 12-08-2012, 06:17 PM
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Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Tomas Berdych

Australian Open R4 - Beat Almagro 4-6 7-6 7-6 7-6
High quality match against a fellow top player but also a key match in starting his year well. Kept all the pressure within himself when big moments arrived and produced the goods when needed. Also no doubt one of the most controversial moments of this year at the end.

Australian Open QF - Lost to Nadal 7-6 6-7 4-6 3-6
Finally a big match against a big player not named Federer which he's shown up at. In my opinion played as well as he could have but on a court as slow as that, Nadal's best was always going to be too good. Regardless of him losing I don't think anyone was going to beat Nadal playing the way he was, definitely the best hardcourt match Nadal has played in years, forehand and serve were absolutely incredible from him.

Wimbledon R1 - Lost to Gulbis 6-7 6-7 6-7
The best match to describe how much Berdych's game has changed the last few years. Before 2010 there's no way he would have let Gulbis dictate him off the ground the way he did, yet it happened here. Berdych is a far more controlled aggressor now and it showed in this match more than any other the last few years. Gulbis probably played the match of his life but still I'm disappointed that Berdych didn't at least try to revert back to his old game and at least put Gulbis on the backfoot when able to.

US Open QF - Beat Federer 7-6 6-4 3-6 6-3
Definitely Berdych's match since Rome. Didn't let Federer have any rhythm at all and forced his opponent to go for more than he's comfortable with. Also arguably the best mental performance Berdych has ever put in a big match, after losing the third having been a break up, the fourth set from him was world class considering how he not only maintained his level but raised it.

Davis Cup Final - Beat Almagro 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-7 6-3
Not the greatest match quality wise but a massive match for Berdych to win given had it lost it Spain would have gone 2-0 after the first day. Berdych's form the few weeks prior to the match wasn't great so it always had the potential to be tight, but like that match against Federer at the US Open he produced the goods when he needed to, especially early on in the 5th set saving quite a few break points. Definitely the man who won the Czechs the Davis Cup this year and a great way to end a great year.
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