Wimbledon QF preview and prediction: Djokovic vs. Berdych

Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych will be squaring off for the 28th time in their careers when they meet again in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Wednesday.

This is one of the most lopsided matchups on the current ATP Tour, with Djokovic holding a massive 25-2 lead in the head-to-head series. A current streak of 13 consecutive wins began at this same event in 2013, when the Serb prevailed 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-3–also in the quarters. Djokovic, who is 23-1 in their last 24 matches, has also taken 15 straight sets from Berdych.

Berdych, though, has had a full year to erase the demons against his upcoming opponent (they have not faced each other since last summer’s Rogers Cup). Additional good news for the 15th-ranked Czech is that he is back in fine form at one of his favorite tournaments. He is 41-13 lifetime at the All-England Club with a runner-up performance in 2010 and a semifinal showing last year, when he succumbed to eventual champion Andy Murray. So far this fortnight Berdych has taken out Jeremy Chardy, Ryan Harrison, David Ferrer, and Dominic Thiem–the latter in five sets on Monday.

Djokovic was shelved from manic Monday when Gilles Muller’s upset of Rafael Nadal on Court 1 lasted four hours and 47 minutes, thus preventing any additional matches from behind played. The world No. 4 took the court on Tuesday afternoon and battled past Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-4 despite an apparent shoulder issue. Djokovic, who is already adding points to his ranking after losing in last season’s third round to Sam Querrey, also beat Martin Klizan, Adam Pavlasek, and Ernests Gulbis without dropping a set en route to the last eight.

Based on current form and his past history against Berdych, a rejuvenated Djokovic should coast into the semis. If he is derailed on Wednesday, it would likely be because of a shoulder problem and not due to getting outclassed by Berdych.

Pick: Djokovic in 3

48 Comments on Wimbledon QF preview and prediction: Djokovic vs. Berdych

  1. players starting to follow Roger’s wisdom after seeing him successfully wining his 18th slam post break. Will Novak win another 7, 8 to 9 slams on his return to beat Fed’s record?

    if he does, the next generation is really unlucky to be born in 90s 🙂

    • Well Rafa started that in 2012 and came back dominating the tour in 2013; at that time people thought it’s unbelievable ( that Rafa could dominate after a six months break!) but now after seeing Fed at 35 doing the same (and dominated the early HC season), would they still question Rafa’s ability to dominate after a successful comeback at age 27?

      I wish Djoko all the best, perhaps after a long break and not pushing his body too hard when he comes back, he can enjoy his tennis again and winning titles, perhaps picks and chooses tournaments to play or not to play and listen to his body more.

      Murray should do the same imo.

    • fg says AT 12:46 AM: “players starting to follow Roger’s wisdom after seeing him successfully wining his 18th slam post break.”
      When Rafa was dominating the Tour in 2013 after being off the Tour for 7 months due to injury, Fed worshipers produced a huge amount of false stories about Rafa. According to their false stories, Rafa received a silent ban for doping.

      After Fed took a 6-month sabbatical from the Tour, his worshipers are describing him as a role model for other players.

      ? to Fed worshipers!!!

    • Vijay (AT 8:55 AM),

      No matter how many fake stories have Fed worshipers created about Rafa (since Rafa started to beat their beloved one), Rafans are happy that he has 15 GS titles and counting.

      • Given an option to choose whether Fed looses to Rafa 5 times but he wins a grand slam or he defeats Rafa 5 times but Rafa gets a slam. I would rather choose the first option. For me as long as Fed is winning a slam other things doesn’t matter whether he wins with a weak opposition, injury, form, walkover. Currently Rafa is behind Fed in grand slam count, it may happen that one day Rafa could takeover Fed but by then Fed would have retired and I may not be enjoying the tennis as I’m enjoying now. So that may not be hurting more as long as he remained on the tour he was leading. Yes, Rafans would enjoy that moment but for Fed fan’s it may not hurt as much as if someone over takes him before he retires.
        So currently whatever he wins is a bonus for us and the stories whoever creates is only for the sake of argument and defending their man but at the end everyone is only curious about who is going to win the next tournament.

        • Vijay (AT 10:26 AM): “…and the stories whoever creates is only for the sake of argument…”
          Creators can be sued for creating fake stories.

        • @vijay, should Rafa threaten Fed’s Slam count after he retires, Fedfans will simply switch allegiance to whomever happens to be likely to win Slams instead of Rafa, like they did with Novak.


            • Rafa fans have nothing on the Fed fans who have trashed his reputation every step if the way just because Rafa has the h2h as advantage over Fed!

              It’s been one of the more disgusting things I have had to watch over the years. There is nothing too bad for Fed fans to say about Rafa. Nothing is off limits.

              Rafa fans didn’t invent this obnoxious GOAT concept! It was Fed fans who needed to believe that they were fans of the best player of all time. Obsessive does not even begin to describe them. They would want to ignore the great champions from past eras, In pursuit of this bizarre idea that Fed is GOAT.

              I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that kind of hero worship at the expense of Rafa and the other truly great champions who have graced this sport.

            • Sorry, RITB, I like both, but I dont like obsessive fandom.

              If I say, Fed is my no. 1 favourite, novak no. 2 and rafa no. 3, will you call me a fairweather fan?

              Dont know why people care so much about what fans of this or that player is saying and keep fighting over such trifles?

              I find it highly untasteful.

            • Hero worship is done by all groups of fans. It looks so laughable and lame when fans of one player accuses other fans of the same, when the truth is they themselves are guilty of the same thing.

            • NNY-
              It is totally understandable why you feel the way you do. The fanaticism is disgusting. But I can tell you from experience that the hate-filled fanaticism is equally rampant on both sides. When I read comments on youtube or on sites like this one or tennis-x, the two sides are very much mirror images of each other. And both sides will swear up and down that the fans of the other guy are sooooo much worse than the others. It’s just the way bias works, but it makes perfect sense. I have obviously seen plenty of Rafa-bashing out there, but I have also seen plenty of Fed-bashing from Rafa fanatics. There is just no way to measure which side is “worse” about this because there are so many sites and forums, and I have literally seen many hundreds of delusional hate-filled comments from both Fed fanatics and Rafa fanatics. Even though this site is obviously very Rafa-biased, I chose to be involved with this site because I felt like the level of hate-driven bickering between the two side was better on this site than on TX or others. That being said, I have still seen plenty of super-biased, clearly anti-Federer sentiment on here, but that is totally expected! It’s truly unavoidable. But even when I see comments that are clearly overly biased, I still believe that this site is less hateful than the other ones, and I appreciate when the two sides are able to be civil and at least as non-biased as possible.

              So while I understand why you would feel like Fedfans are objectively worse than Rafans, I also understand why Fedfans would think Rafans are the worst. It’s just a sad reality…

            • Mark, what I call fairweatherfans are those fans who like their favourite when he/she is winning, not so much when he/she is losing and in fact switch allegiance to another player who is winning.

              I noticed that when Diokovic started winning and beating Rafa from 2011, he gained a lot of fans who usually rooted for Fed. It so happened that Fed was going through a slump at that time. That was typical fairweather behavior on the part of those Fedfans.

              Rafans typically have a 2nd favourite player. For example, mine is Murray. I root for both whether they win or lose.

              The difference is that the Fefans who switched to Novak after 2011 never rooted for Novak before then. They were doing it simply to spite Rafa.

            • Mark, I do not want Fed to pad his Slam count further because his fans become so obnoxious about it, I will be honest. I respect Fed as a player and I love his game but I am not a fan.

              That does not make me a fair weather fan, I think you have got the meaning wrong there.

            • NNY, the GOAT concept wasn’t invented by Fed fans. Surprisingly it’s older than the Fedal rivalry. It blossomed into full swing when Sampras was trashing all sorts of records, but especially when he won his 13th slam and broke the lock with Roy Emerson. Some journos started to discuss if Sampras was the best tennis player ever and came up with the GOAT term, which they borrowed from another sport. Sampras’ final slam count of 14 was considered a record for the ages, lol! Well, he didn’t have much time for enjoying his remarkable achievements. Who wudda thunk that a bit more than a decade later not only one but two players would overtake him and a third one would be on his heals! And those three players all have something he didn’t manage: the career slam! But to be fair: in Sampras’ generation the surface speed varied more than these days and it was far more difficult to win on all surfaces. For me that is one reason to believe that the GOAT concept is inherently faulty. You can only be the best of your generation. And Sampras most certainly was the best of his generation. Right now Fed is the best of his generation, but Rafa and Novak aren’t far behind. As long as Fed, Rafa and Novak are still active, things are still in motion.
              As a former Sampras fan I do hope that Fed doesn’t win another Wimby title, because right now he’s tied with Sampras: both have 7 titles, and I hope it will remain that way. But honestly – I think the chances that Fed doesn’t win his 8th and record breaking title on Sunday are pretty slim, because all serious competition has been eliminated, and Fed is in good shape. But who knows? Maybe one of the other three semifinalists is able to surprise us 😉

    • Accuse Fed? More like the Fed worshippers are the ones accusing the others, i.e. Rafa and his fans!

      • It should be no surprise that Fedfans will defend/fight for their guy to the end, and that Rafans will defend/fight for their guy to the end. That’s how it works when you have two guys who are so popular. Both sides have annoyingly deusional fanatics, as well as good-natured fans who just want the best for their guy. Same with Novak’s fans. Everyone wants their guy to be considered the best. Some, unfortunately, equally want the other guy to fail as much as they want their guy to succeed. Some even want the other guy to fail MORE than their guy to succeed. Those people don’t matter, though, and they know it deep down… The one part that is frustrating is that the ones who desperately want the other guy to fail always seem to be the most visible on social media. It’s too bad because then it can send the wrong message that all Fedfans/Rafans are just haters of the other, and that’s obviously not the case. It’s not just with tennis, or even sports as a whole- it’s in everything. The haters are always the most visible because they get the most attention. It’s sad, but it’s also just the reality of living in the social media era…

        • Kevin you have a very healthy judgement. I hope lucky and nny wouldn’t pay much attention to those who are being disrespectful towards anyone, not only Rafa, open their eyes and focus on nice, educated people who respect Rafa and Fed and the rest of the guys. We have TO CHOOSE where our ATTENTION goes and fuel that good energy.

          • Eugene, did you mention me??

            I don’t even bother to visit all those other fan sites or whatever forum which worship whichever or whoever players; not to mention reading what they post there.

            I only visit tennis forum to discuss about tennis, esp tennis from the big four and of course tennis of my fave player(s). It’s sometimes reading through comments by some posters that one realized the hatred some people have for some players. One particular accusation about Rafa that’s hard to swallow was the doping accusation and the alleged silent ban during Rafa’s 2012 six months injury break.

            Sorry Eugene, I don’t think I need your advice, for I don’t even bother with such negative people! My focus is on tennis, and I prefer to remain so.

          • Eugene,

            I don’t know if you read my comment in its entirety, but I made a point of saying that I have not posted on tennis-x for a number of years now. That is because I wanted to avoid the toxicity from some of those people.

            I don’t get involved in the Fedal wars anymore. I prefer to talk tennis. That’s why I come here. There are no tennis fans in my life, so if I want to share my passion then I need to come here.

      • Kevin,

        I am speaking as someone who used to post on tennis-x years ago. I really don’t have polite words in the English language to describe what went on there. Sean Randall finally implemented moderation when he got so many complaints that he could no longer ignore them. I remember the profane, obscene language directed at Rafa fans. It’s not nearly as bad as it was back then, but for me some of the worst of the worst Fed fans reside there. I will never forget the despicable conspiracy theories they threw around about how Rafa didn’t play in the 2009 Wimbledon because he did not think he could win. Nothing about the knee tendinitis. It was sickening and it never stopped. Then there were the endless accusations of Rafa doping. That he was doping and that’s how he got the big serve at the 2010 USO. That he took off seven months to work on his hardcourt game or that it was a silent ban for doping.

        That’s why I stopped posting there about sux or seven years ago. I had enough of the hatespeak. Not all Fed fans are like that. But there is a small group that are so obsessed with him that it’s almost like a cult of personality thing.

        I have never said that Rafa fans don’t say bad things about Fed. I am aware of what has been said on this site by some Rafa fans. One Rafa fan even insisted that the only reason Fed won the AO at his age is because he was doping. That person repeated this absurd accusation over and over. I condemned it outright. So did other Rafa fans. I would never take away from Fed this great achievement. I respect him and what he has done in this sport. I am not a fan, but I don’t have to resort to trashing him.

        There is bad behavior on both sides of the Fedal wars. No question about it. But I think this select group of fanatic Fed fans is in a league of their own.

        • You’re right, NNY, they’re definitely awful! When people accuse someone like Rafa of doping when there is decisive evidence to the contrary, those morons are just digging their own graves… I’ve never understood why some people had so much trouble understanding Rafa’s 2013 comeback. They made it sound like Rafa had never played extremely well before, and he just suddenly was playing at a crazy high level out of nowhere. He was playing at around that level a various times for like 5 years before 2013! He may not have won titles as consistently as he did that year, particularly on hard courts, but it’s not like his overall level was like nothing we’d ever seen from him before. To me it’s always been very simple- he was playing amazingly, then he got injured, and then he came back from injury and started playing amazingly again… That’s it haha! Yeah, it’s obviously difficult to come back from injury and play at a really high level, but those idiots made it seem like it was some impossible thing that could only be done with steroids. Tons of athletes throughout history have returned from injury and played really well. So to me, if average players have come back from injury to success throughout history, then all-time great athletes like Rafa and Fed are that much more likely to have success after injury! The social media haters will always want to discredit these guys when they do anything amazing, and they will spread rumors that have no basis in evidence. It’s so annoying and frustrating, but I guess it’s just the world we live in now?

          Similar to you, I’ve also seen plenty of people accusing Federer, or suggesting at very least, that he MUST be juicing because he’s winning titles, as if he was never winning any matches before the injury. Similar to what I said about Rafa, Fed was playing a high level before his injury. He was still making the final Or semis of most big tournaments. He starts going one match further at tournaments than he was before his injury, and the haters want to believe that that automatically equals steroid use… The one thing that is puzzling for me as it pertains to Fed-haters is that a lot of the people I’ve seen suggesting Fed must be juicing are people who get furiously defensive whenever Rafa is accused by the Rafa-haters of juicing. So hypocritical.

          Anyone who accuses Rafa or Fed of doping without even a SHRED of credible evidence is worthless. They’re more interested in discrediting the player(s) they don’t like more than anything else. Pure trolls and haters. Probably the worst part of all is that these haters don’t realize, or don’t care, that they’re actually hurting the integrity of the sport by making accusations about the two greatest male players the sport has ever seen. The day that anything credible comes forth about any of the Big 4 doping, I will change my tone accordingly. Until then, they better put some respec’ on those guy’s names! 🙂

          • Not hypocritical, Kevin, it’s called ‘an eye for an eye’ i.e. revengeful! I bet those fans waited for so long (from 2013 to 2017, a four years wait) and finally got their chances for revenge ( because Fed was doing exactly what Rafa was doing in 2013, ie coming back from long injury break and started winning everything in sight).

            The same people who accused Rafa of doping, were the hypocritical ones, for they were so excited about Fed’s revival after a six months break but they had forgotten that they were accusing Rafa of doping when he was doing the same and at a much younger age than Fed’s. To me that’s double standard, and hypocrisy to the max!!

      • Littlefoot,

        I never remember journalists coming up with the GOAT concept during the time when Sampras was the top player. I. Ever heard about it except from Fed fans. I think that the Fed Feds took that idea and ran with it and made it their mantra. They pushed it to the forefront. Because I simply don’t recall it being such a big issue at that time. I. can see some journalists bringing it up as a way of categorizing Sampras and his achievements. But the Fed fans took it and adopted it for their man. They made it a personal cause celebre for Fed. It became something else entirely.

        It is really unbelievable to think that the achievements of Sampras have been surpassed by Rafa and Fed. The big hole in his resume was not having the career slam. Roy Emerson’s record of 12 slams lasted for decades. No one could have guessed when Sampras broke that record, that it would be short- lived. Sampras never won RG. Neither did McEnroe. That’s why I have always said that it’s not easy to win the only clay slam.

        Borg’s achievement is extraordinary because of the extreme difference in surfaces back then.

        • nny. may I ask you something. Why is so important who came up with the GOAT concept? I mean it doesn’t really matter for me. In this way we divide ourselves in Fedfans and Rafans. But that’s just another delusional illusion. I might care more about you than about a Fed fan whose behaviour I don’t approve. I don’t feel the need to defend a group or another. You have on this site some nice and respectful Fedfans like J. Smith, Benny and others.

        • It definitely didn’t help anything that in the post-match commentary after 2009 RG, John McEnroe started calling him the “greatest of all-time” on live tv in front of millions. You’d think that the commentators on the major networks would keep their opinions to themselves as it pertains to that, but maybe I’m just naive…

  2. It is so sad that Rafa emerged as the one competition for Fed that he unleashed this pathological hatred in a lot of a section of Fedfans, frightening demonization to be honest. Rafa could not do anything right. Sometimes you got the impression Rafa did not or could not play tennis. All because he had the nerve to challenge Fed.

    And then Novak came along and of course Rafa had to be relegated behind him, to feed the hatred. Not only was Rafa now being compared unfavorably to Fed, he was now being compared unfavorably to Novak as well. Novak is the complete player, Novak manages his schedule well, Novak’s flexibility makes him immune to injuries, Novak will overtake Fed soon ( notice how it wasn’t Novak will overtake Rafa soon, it was as if Novak had overtaken Rafa already!) blah, blah blah. All those Novak compliments by the cognoscenti were really veiled digs at Rafa.

    Now it turns out Novak is human after all, he is a normal tennis player who suffers from the same foibles as any tennis player. He gets injured, his body has a playing limit, he gets tired and Holy Mother of Jesus, he loses matches now and again, just like that annoying Spaniard!

    I think taking time off is a good decision for Novak, I hope Muzza does that too. They can only come back stronger just like………………….that annoying Spaniard!

    Fed will get his 19th Slam, most likely at this Wimby. This is good for tennis, I wish Fed well. I also hope his achievement will make those rabid fans of his who have let their love for Fed translate into hatred for Rafa, reflect a bit. Rafa, doesn’t dope, any more than Fed or Novak or Muzza does. Rafa gets injured, just like Fed, Novak and Muzza do. When Rafa takes time off, it does not mean he is serving a silent doping ban or he is getting juiced up, just as the same malicious accusations should not be leveled against Novak, Fed, Muzza without proof. Rafa is surrounded by a professional team which advises him well just as Fed, Novak and Muzza are. Last but not least, Rafa is not an idiot, no more than Fed, Novak and Muzza are. Let us give these amazing athletes respect.

    ps: I am allowed to take a dig or two against Fed, especially if he continues winning like this! ?

  3. Sam Querrey could defeat M. Cilic won’t be easy but not impossible.
    Even if M. Cilic wins he would deplete most of his energy making it easy for his next opponent( probably R. Federer to crush him).

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