Wimbledon SF preview and prediction: Federer vs. Berdych

Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych will be facing each other for the 25th time in their careers when they collide in the Wimbledon semifinals on Friday.

The head-to-head series stands at 18-6 in Federer’s favor, which is actually a respectable number for Berdych. But it has not been competitive of late. Since winning five times in the span of eight meetings from 2010 through 2013, Berdych has lost seven in a row against Federer and the underdog is 1-16 in their last 17 total sets. The Czech did, however, make things interesting earlier this season in Miami; Federer prevailed 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(6) during his run of consecutive Masters 1000 titles.

That came in a stretch that saw the fifth-ranked Swiss go 19-1 in his first 20 matches of 2017. After skipping the clay-court swing and losing his grass-court opener in Stuttgart to Tommy Haas, Federer appears to be back in the same kind of form. He is in the midst of a 10-match winning streak that includes the Halle title and Wimbledon victories over Alexandr Dolgopolov, Dusan Lajovic, Mischa Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov, and Milos Raonic. The 18-time Grand Slam champion is the only one of the four semifinalists who has not surrendered a single set.

Berdych had been mediocre at best prior this fortnight, to the extent that he still won’t be in the top eight in the race to the World Tour Finals if he falls to Federer. But a return trip to the All-England Club was just what the doctor ordered for the world No. 15. The 2010 runner-up and 2016 semifinalist is 42-13 lifetime at this tournament and is back in the semis following defeats of Jeremy Chardy, Ryan Harrison, David Ferrer, Dominic Thiem, and Novak Djokovic–the latter via second-set retirement.

Still, Berdych has not done enough to suggest he can take down Federer, which he did in the 2010 quarterfinals before upsetting Djokovic in the semis and losing to Nadal in the title match. Only his straight-set demolition of Ferrer was a particularly impressive result, and Ferrer is a shadow of his former self at 35 years old.

Berdych’s next 35-year-old foe, on the other hand, is aging like a fine wine. The 11th seed’s favorable draw has come to an end, and his 2017 Wimbledon campaign will likely do the same on Friday.

Pick: Federer in 3

61 Comments on Wimbledon SF preview and prediction: Federer vs. Berdych

    • Haha Fed hasn’t dropped a set this tournament but will be tired from a slightly tougher straight set win over Berdych while Cilic is ready to beat Federer in the Wimbledon final after dropping three sets in his last two matches. I thought us Fed fans were supposed to be delusional.

      • Yeah, but Fed’s an old man, bound to be tired from all that winning, right? Btw I’ve never thought of Cilic as a mental giant either. He won the USO against an exhausted Nishikori. If he beats Fed in the Wimbly final I’ll consider revising my opinion.

        • Mark, show some respect! I think you’re the delusional one if you like Benny, think that Fed is not tired!

            • Just because you think you are right doesn’t make you right…

              Right Lucky? This is really childish behaviour.

            • Mark, you’re the childish one here! I mean, why for nothing you mentioned me to Benny and talked about me being delusional? Do you know how rude you are?? And I called that childish and rude!

        • Mark, please explain why Fed was serving poorly and DF six times at least during the match, since you’re so clever and not comes up with some delusional theories!

          • Maybe he was a bit tight because he’s the obvious favorite for the title now? Anyways the real question is can you explain how Fed won in straight sets playing at that lower level than usual? Because he is just that confident. I highly doubt Fed will be tired from winning every set he’s played heading into the final. But if he is I’m pretty sure his confidence will outweigh what would be a minimal amount of fatigue. Oh yeah and how would he be tired playing on a surface where quicker matches occur and he hasn’t dropped a set when he played three five setters at the AO and won it. Fatigue didn’t seem to affect him too much in that final.

            • Benny, why would Fed be feeling tight because he’s the favorite to win the title?? He’s a seven times title holder! Don’t you think it has something to do with how Berdy played?

              Berdy was serving bombs and hitting big and Fed was made to run so much, and he had quite a few mishits when on the run. Fed even looked agitated at some points during the match. Even in the first set TB, Fed made some uncharacteristic errors when he was leading to allow Berdy to level it at 4-4 or something, but Berdy dumped the next point into the net and two points later, Berdy lost the first set in the TB.

              I said in one of my earlier post, Berdych had to serve big and hit hard from the baseline to keep Fed behind the baseline, to have a slim chance against Fed. When Berdy was able to do so, moving Fed from left to right and vice versa, he had some successes vs Fed, but Berdy couldn’t sustain that for long as he’s not good enough to do so.

              The reason I said Fed might be tiring in the match was because of the running he had to do along the baseline, side to side. Berdy was the only one so far among Fed’s opponents having the firepower to do that to Fed; Raonic wasn’t able to do that because Raonic was playing a net rushing game, playing into the hands of Fed.

              Fed was forced to come up with some good serving to save BPs, his ground strokes at the later stages in the match wasn’t able to counter those of Berdy’s, perhaps Fed DF so often was because he’s aware of and wary of Berdy’s big ground strokes and that put pressure on Fed’s serves.

              I certainly don’t think I’m giving some delusional logic here.

            • I meant to explain the double faults. I know Berdych played well. I just don’t think you get that Fed played three five setters en route to Melbourne title and looked energized in that final. He’s played so much less than he did on his way to Melbourne final and should be way more energized here than he was there which was still a very high level. Bottom line is Fed hasn’t dropped a set and therefore fatigue shouldn’t be factor. It’s literally as simple as that. You’re overanalyzing the whole running too much thing. I don’t think running around a bit more than he has been because of Berdych’s power in a straight sets win will make him exhausted.

            • Benny, as I’ve mentioned, I’m not saying Fed will come out flat for the final! All I’m saying is, when the final match is stretched and has to go the distance, the physical fatigue factor may come into play. Do factor in the player’s age, if age is not a factor, then why Fed didnt want to play at the FO and the clay masters? He’s conserving as much energy as possible for this Wimbledon.

              Now there’s no point discussing it now, the final may end up being a straight sets affair and all these fatigue talks will be just moot points.

      • Benny, Fed is an old man now, didn’t you see that he was tiring in the match? I bet that if Berdcy were to win a set and the match was still going on, Fed would be making even more errors and tiring further.

        You can’t compare Fed at 35 to Cilic at 28.

        • If Fed loses the final that surely won’t be because he was tired from his semifinal match. I think its a good workout for the final as he hasn’t really been tested prior to this match.

          Fed was playing a tough opponent who was playing well…so it was not a easy match for Fed. Why should people expect a semifinal match at Wimbledon to be easy for any opponent? At least I don’t.

          • Well I don’t either, it’s only some arrogant Fed worshippers who think that it’s a walk in the park for Fed. Fed got to fight so hard, ran so much in order to get the straight sets win; it could be a four sets match if only Berdy didn’t hit some dumb shots into the net in the first set TB.

          • Benny, I’m talking about the physical fitness, not the game! Don’t be like your buddy Mark, who’s delusional and yet calling others so! I wonder how old is Mark, he’s been behaving childishly and rude!

            • Just messing around lucky lol. I know what you meant. Just look at AO when he won three five setters on his way to the whole title. How do you expect him to be less fresh than he was then because he seemed pretty energized in that final.

    • Benny, he was fresh as he’s just back from a six months break. You also forget that his opponent in the final also played two five sets matches prior to the final, and one of which was a long 5 hours match before the final with one less day of rest.

      You have to factor in one thing, as one gets older, one needs a longer recovery time after playing a match. At the AO he was fortunate that he had two days for recovery from his five sets SF match.

      I’m not saying that Fed will be too tired for this coming final, but what if he’s stretched in the final to five long sets? If that happens certainly physical fatigue may come into play.

      • He took the whole clay court season off!! That’s a break too. You’re just looking for reasons that Fed will be fatigued it’s so obvious.

        • Benny, what good does it make to me for insisting that Fed will be fatigued when he’s not? Please don’t think that we are like children, for wanting to win an argument for the sake of winning!

          What we are discussing here, whether we win the argument or not, it won’t change the outcome of the match. We are just speculating about the possibility of this or that happening. I may be right or I may be wrong, it doesn’t matter, as it’s the players who decide the outcome of the match by how they play.

          We are discussing and speculating for the fun of it, of course there is joy in analyzing and forming some opinions and if the outcome turns out to be what we expected, then we feel good about it. If we are wrong, then pick up some tips on where we go wrong and then try again next time.

          For those who bet, of course they have even more joy if what they bet for turn up to be correct and they’re rewarded in monetary terms. I’m not a betting person though.

          • Yeah true I agree. Good luck to both in the finals. To make it clear I am not annoyed that you are rooting for Cilic or anything. I like the big guy and respect people rooting for the upset. Hopefully we get an enjoyable final.

            • To be clear, I’m not rooting for the upset but I’m rooting for Cilic because he’s my second fave player.

            • I know. I respect that. That’s how I felt in the Muller Nadal match. To make it clear, I know Cilic is a boss and in my opinion his game is exciting to watch. Many think he is a boring player because he just destroys the ball but I like his strokes. Plus his energy is awsome. I love his reactions to match wins lol.

  1. Berdy is really a mental midget, couldn’t break serve and got his own serve broken! Fed wasn’t even serving all that well, yet he couldn’t take advantage!

    All the efforts and yet nothing to show for that! He’s doomed not to have a slam title in his career!

    • That’s the nickname I’ve had for him for so long. He doesn’t have the belief or mental fortitude.

  2. even Fed not playing well to his standard, reaching slam final with most likely not losing a set is rally impressive at his age.

  3. Well. every player has his strength and weakness. some of the thing in life, you just cannot train yourself to reach the peak however hard you try. Fed has his natural born talent in someway. that’s God gift. Let’s not be hard on Berdy.

    • Well not only Fed, but the big four all have their natural talents. But, all Berdy needed in that service game of his, was to serve well to hold serve. He’s just not clutch enough to save himself out of troubles. I mean how many first serves he made in that service game? When, in his other earlier service games, he did hit some consecutive good serves to hold. If that’s not something mental, then what? He’s losing belief I feel after not breaking Fed’s serve in the previous game.

  4. Like I said in one of my earlier posts, what Berdych lacks is court craft; despite playing for so long now in the tour, he’s still not a very intelligent player and still playing a limited game.

    Compared to the younger Cilic and Delpo, they are certainly smarter and better players than Berdy, at least they learn fast and play a more all round game.

    • I thought this is the best I have seen Berdych play in some time. Fed was just too good. Fed did not have an easy draw. He just looked confident from his run so far in the year.

      • True, Berdych played really well, Fed is just on another level right now, similar to 2006/2007.

        Let’s see what Cilic can bring to the table.

      • Yeah, the best from Berdy for quite a while, despite his limited game. To me, Berdy making trips to the net was suicidal, might as well stay at the baseline to trade rally shots with Fed and won points with his big serves.

    • He’s too passive and his the ball too flat. Del Potro hits it flat but has more variety, is stronger mentally and is willing to grind it out from the baseline similar to Djokovic.

      Berdych is a great ball stroker but that doesn’t translate into wins against the world’s best.

        • Disagree. Todaay he came to net. Tried changing a few things. Berdych has the second best Wimbledon so far in terms of level ahead of Cilic.

          • Huh? Berdy coming to the net exposed his shortcomings at the net! He got passed easily by Fed, and hitting some volleys into the net. His game is limited because he doesn’t have good hands or deft touches.

            • You’re right, Lucky. Now that I think about it, I’ve never really thought of Berdych as having any net game at all… It’s too bad because he would be so much better with some net game.

  5. Congrats Benny! As far as time spent on court, straight sets was just what the doctor ordered. Considering what we all know Berdych is capable of on grass against Fed, he did a great job of making sure he wasn’t grinding for 5 sets… Cilic will obviously be a very difficult task if he is at his best. They will both obviously be gunning for that title, as neither of them is young. Even though Fed was hampered last year, he will be fully aware of how close Cilic was to beating him in that match. I expect Fed to be prepared. You never know what you will get with Cilic. He could come out firing and just completely take the racquet out of Fed’s hands. He could also be a bit nervous as he’s been dreaming of this moment his whole life. I think we could be in for a 5 set epic… But who knows, really?

  6. I expect a good final match. But, I still prefer a Fed vs Novak or Rafa match at Wimbledon. Those matches are so much more exciting. I was feeling a sense of void somewhere when I was watching the semis and having a similar feeling about the final.
    But, it is what it is.
    Anyways, I wish good luck to both Cilic and Fed for the final.

    Hope to see a good match.

    • True, I cant imagine this final becoming special or classic because of Cilic. Only Federer is making history in this match.
      This new louder Cilic will scream and pump, but we will not feel tense watching this.

  7. It’s a real anti-climax – both ATP and WTA finals — to me.

    But that’s how it goes. Have to congratulate Benny and fedfans here. Not that he’s won quite yet – but at his age getting to another final — I keep underestimating him and he keeps making GS finals. Venus too — completely didn’t pick her to win.

    That said, now ? I can’t help but think Cilic will win his first Wimbledon and Johanna Konta will win her first GS!

    • oops, what was I thinking? Konta lost to Venus! It’s Venus vs Mugu — that might be good but I won’t be able to watch tomorrow. I did notice that Kpuppy picked Venus so wow – good picking. However I hope Garbine can get her first Wimbledon.

  8. its definitely relatively anti-climactic on the men’s side, given that Fed vs. Cilic is what many people thought the final would be. As for the women’s side, I don’t Venus got too many tips to potentially win the whole thing on the women’s side, so that’s a cool story. I personally really want Venus to win. I know she can! Don’t know if she will, though…

    • At the sake of sounding like callous and unsentimental person, I’m tired of Fed and Williams sisters winning. I’ve had my decades of marveling at them and it’s not that I dislike them but I’m always hoping for new winners. There’s been a real monopoly in tennis.

      I’m tired of Froome and Sky monopolizing Tour de France, too but in cycling that happens sometimes, (the team with the biggest budget can buy, pay well and keep the best riders – US Postal comes to mind). Unbelievable Sky train has a deep pool of talent — especially in the mountains.

      • I understand. One of the Big 4 has won Wimbledon for the last *fourteen* years on the men’s side. Incredible. But the Williams sisters have not been nearly as dominant. Granted they’ve accounted for a good many between them but Venus hasn’t won Wimbly – or any slam – since 2008. Let’s give her a break, ok?

  9. If Fed wins this, he would be in very strong position to end the year at number 1 in the world unless he chooses to pull out in most of the rest of the season after USO to keep his body fit for next year slam haul.

    what was Agassi age when he reach number 1? 34?

  10. Well, at least Fed was somewhat tested by Berdych. I hope that Team Cilic will analyse the match thoroughly. Cilic has more tools than Berdych, is in good shape and has beaten Fed in a slam before. He almost beat him last year in the quarterfinal. While I think it’s more likely that Fed will win because of his vast experience Cilic certainly has the potential for an upset.
    Go Marin, and emulate Goran, your former coach. Don’t get nervous when you fall behind. You are a good deal younger and you came from behind against Müller and Querrey. If you manage to get a foot into the door and grab a set you have a chance. And don’t send your mother on errands again 😉

  11. I can’t see any which way fed will lose the final. He is high on confidence and knows the stars have aligned. No 19 for sure. Question is will be drop a set or not.

  12. Federer clearly not at his best in the semi. He was for the first few games, but that service game that he lost at 4-3 came a bit out of nowhere. Two double faults, and almost no first serves hit in, after totally dominating for his first few service games. I don’t know what that was. Tightness/nervousness most likely; possibly some fatigue, exacerbated by his cold.

    What I think happened after that is it gave Berdych some hope, and he really started going for his shots. He gave Fed a good match, and definitely had his chance in that 1st set tie-break, missing an easy FH into the net. Still, the bottom line is that Fed, playing clearly less than his best, won in straights against a very good player playing near his best.

    My take on the final: If Federer serves near his best, as he has for most of the tournament, he will win going away, possibly in straights. He has the better ROS, and the more consistent and varied game, with plenty of weapons. However, if Roger serves less well, like he like he did against Berdy, AND Cilic serves at his best, then it will be a close match, though I still give Fed the edge. For Cilic to win, three things have to happen. He has to serve lights out, hit winners like he did at USO ’14, and Roger has to serve less than his best. Federer in 4.

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