Nadal breezes into Wimbledon semis
Rafael Nadal destroyed Tomas Berdych to move into the Wimbledon semi-finals on Friday and move a step closer to becoming just the third man to win the French Open and All England Club titles in the same year.
The Spanish second seed, who was runner-up to Roger Federer last year, made light of the potential danger posed by Tomas Berdych winning 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 6-2 and will now take on either Serbian fourth seed Novak Djokovic or Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus for a place in Sunday's final.
Nadal had toiled through two consecutive five-set wins over Robin Soderling and Mikhail Youzhny respectively to reach this stage and has now played five days in a row.
That marathon schedule was caused by the torrential rain which has made this Wimbledon the wettest since 1982.
On Friday, however, the rain stayed away to be replaced by a vicious swirling wind inside a half-full Centre Court and it was the Spaniard who mastered both his opponent and conditions.
"It wasn't easy because the wind was unbelievably difficult," said Nadal.
"I had to concentrate hard on my movement as the ball was hard to hit and I think the wind made it difficult for him to serve."
Nadal, bidding to become the first Spanish winner of the men's singles title here since Manolo Santana in 1966, broke in the second game of the opening set only to be immediately pegged back.
Berdych, who came into the tournament with a 3-2 career record over Nadal and had been buoyed by winning the Halle grasscourt title last month, matched him shot for shot in the opening set but once he had buckled in the tiebreak, he wad reduced to a spectator.
Nadal broke again in the first game of the second set on his way to a two-set lead before Berdych fell apart in the third.
Again Nadal was a break up in the first game and broke again in the fifth to lead 4-1.
He compounded Berdych's misery by serving up three love service games and was soon 5-1 up.
The Czech saved two match points but he succumbed on the third when he dumped a forehand into the net to hand Nadal victory after 2 hours and 7 minutes on court.