• US Open, Day Ten

Stunned Federer falls to Berdych in four sets

ESPN staff
September 5, 2012
Roger Federer was bundled out in dramatic fashion © Getty Images

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Top seed Roger Federer suffered a shock loss in the US Open quarter-finals as Tomas Berdych toppled the five-time champion on Wednesday evening.

Federer appeared far from his graceful best after receiving a walkover in his last round match against Mardy Fish. The top seed had history on his side, though, coming from two sets down against Berdych in the 2009 Australian Open, which fleetingly seemed possible again, until Berdych prevailed 7-6(1) 6-4 3-6 6-3.

It was Federer who had the better start, breaking Berdych early in the opening set to steal the march on his opponent, taking a 2-0 lead. However, Berdych rallied and began to find range with his flat groundstrokes, breaking back midway through the set.

Berdych's serve was the dominant factor in the first-set tiebreaker and Federer was forced to sink beneath the baseline. The Czech then clinched the first set, leaving the crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium stunned.

But that was only the beginning, as Berdych's power told in the second set. He struck the ball crisply and without fear to dictate terms to the world No. 1.

Winners were flowing from the Berdych racket while Federer floundered, framing shots from his forehand side on an alarmingly consistent basis. Silence pervaded the New York night air and the players headed to their chairs with Berdych on the brink of a famous victory.

The match then appeared to take a decisive turn early in the third set as Federer's delivery was again broken by Berdych, who was brimming with confidence and hitting his backhand with ferocity. But Federer still had time to demonstrate his champion qualities.

The Swiss made a critical break back courtesy of two double faults from Berdych. The errors rattled the world No. 7 and Federer, a 17-time grand slam winner, pounced.

Federer strung together five successive games, gliding across the court and forcing Berdych out of his comfort zone heading into the fourth set.

Games went on serve in the early stages of the fourth, but with the crowd at his back Federer was gaining the ascendancy. Until it was Berdych's time to turn the match on its head.

Berdych made the decisive break to go 5-3 up on the back of some heavy forehands. He then served out the match to claim a remarkable win to reach his first US Open semi-final.

In the final four, Berdych will take on British hope Andy Murray, who earlier survived his own scare against Marin Cilic.

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