Good job Richie! One more win and then you can rest.
GOt a little hairy there when he lost his serve at the end of the first set after breaking Berdych but he played a good tie break and a lot better than Berdych played it.
Loved the last game -Richie serving for the match, up 40-0 and then suddenly it's deuce - got pretty funny with Richie hitting aces out wide in the deuce court and then Berdych saving about 4-5 match points only to get aced out wide each time - even Richie laughed after about the 5th time that happened.
Amazing serving display and good thing because his serve bailed him out of many tight spots his FOREHAND got him into because it just sat up high in the middle of the court inviting Berdych to put it away
Luckily Berdych missed some easy ones or that 1st set could have turned out differently. I wonder if that was Richie's plan - topspin Berdych to death with easy, half court balls and hope Berdych misses, which he did at times. To Richie's credit- when he really needed the point (like in the tiebreak) he hit a real forehand - hit a nice 1 or 2 in the tiebreak. Don't jump on me for finding the negative - it was just sooo obvious once again to me that if his forehand was half as effective as his serve, backhand and volley were
(which were all great), he would have cruised through Berdych too.
The tennis channel had technical difficulties from the middle of the first game of the 2nd set until 3-1 for Richie so I didn't see how he broke. How pleasantly surprised I was when the match came back to see Richie up 3-1 because when the transmission was lost, Richie was having a hard time holding his serve in that first game and all I could think of was - there he goes downhill..
Oh yea, check out "What the players said" on the ATP site:
Gasquet "I had to play my best tennis [against Berdych] because he is one of the best players in the world and has a great forehand. I am tired after last week but it is one more match so I will give as usual my best."
"I am in the Top 10 of the Race [to Shanghai] after reaching the final. Madrid and Paris will decide who is qualifying. I would really like to make my first trip to Shanghai." HUM - sound familar. Except the part about Shanghai it's the same old - he's a great player, I'm tired, I give my best....
Anyway, I am so happy for Richie. Hope this helps him believe that he belongs in the Top 10 and I can't wait to see him beat Ferrer!