Big-hitting Tomas Berdych saw off a frustrated Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 on Friday to become the first Czech to reach the men’s final at Wimbledon since Ivan Lendl in 1987.
The 12th seed reached his first grand slam final with a murderous display of hitting from the back of the court against the third seed, who showed his frustrations with a code violation during a defeat marked by two costly double faults.
“The feeling is amazing, to reach another victory over another great player, Novak Djokovic, in straight sets, it's amazing,” the 24-year-old, who beat Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, told a courtside interviewer.
“I think (for) every young kid who first time hits the ball, this is the dream to be in the final of any grand slam. And if you can do it at Wimbledon it's amazing. It’s definitely the biggest tournament for me. It couldn’t be better.”
Berdych had lost their previous two matches in straight sets but the elegant right-hander comfortably took the opener on Centre Court in 33 minutes, with the help of some wayward Djokovic groundsstrokes.
Berdych, who got tongues wagging with an impressive run to the French Open semifinals this year, produced the shock of the tournament when he out-muscled six-times champion Federer.
He was soon to press on once more, even if the lively Wimbledon crowd were backing his opponent — one fan exclaiming, “You’re a genius Novak, I love you!”
Berdych received a time violation at 0-30 down in the fourth game but managed to slip out of a break point with another rasping forehand before holding serve after a hesitant Djokovic return sailed out.
Nadal beats Murray
Spain's Rafael Nadal reached his fourth Wimbledon final with a 6-4, 7-6, 6-4 win over Britain's Andy Murray. Nadal took the first set with a single break when Murray sent a crosscourt forehand wide.
Serena aims to guard against complacency
Serena Williams admits over-confidence could be the biggest obstacle to her bid to win a fourth Wimbledon singles title in Saturday's final against Vera Zvonareva.
Williams has swept to the final in such dominant fashion that few outside of Zvonareva's family and friends expect anything other than a convincing victory for the defending champion.
The American top seed has yet to drop a set at this year's Championships and has sent down a total of 80 aces as she bludgeoned opponents into submission with her ferocious serve.
Even those impressive statistics don't do justice to the way Serena has advanced to her sixth Wimbledon singles final. She began the tournament by winning the first set of each of her first three matches without dropping a set.
Now she just has to defeat Russian 21st seed Zvonareva, who will be playing in her first Grand Slam final, to retain the Venus Rosewater dish.