Madrid – QF
In the first quarterfinal between two players with the same initials (T.B.) Thomaz Bellucci upset Thomas Berdych 7-6(2), 6-3 avenging three consecutive defeats against the Czech player. There was only one break point, converted by Bellucci at 4:3 in the 2nd set, a game before Bellucci was forced to play ‘deuce’ on serve the only time in the match. It’s arguably the best tournament in career of the 23-year-old Brazilian, who has collected two ‘250’ titles.
Michael Llodra, just like yesterday against Daniel Gimeno-Traver, couldn’t find a proper rhythm at the beginning of his match and found himself quickly at 0:4 against Rafael Nadal in the 1st set. Afterwards Llodra was helpless on return games (couldn’t deal with Nadal’s heavy topspins), but had a decent streak of four service games held knotting Nadal’s legs a couple times with precise volleys. In the 5th game of the 2nd set, “King of Clay” raised his defensive skills though, passed the opponent with a half-volley, made a successful run to a stop-volley and got a break with help of a backhand lob. The match was virtually finished then, ten minutes later Nadal posted a 6-2, 6-2 win on his third match point. “Today it was quite good, especially here with the altitude it’s a little bit more complicated because it’s more difficult to go over him” analyzed Rafa.
Roger Federer outplayed Robin Soderling in characteristic style. The Swede had astonishingly saved three set points in the 1st set before the tie-break, but in the breaker Federer as usual against Soderling, mixed the things up and repeated it at the end of the 2nd set, breaking him in the 9th game (with help of lucky net-cord) to score a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory in 1 hour 42 minutes. Federer has improved ‘heat to head’ with Soderling to 16-1 including 12-2 in tie-breaks!
The last quarterfinal was highly anticipated because David Ferrer seemed to be the only guy beside Nadal who would beat Novak Djokovic on clay this year, Djokovic had a winning record against Ferrer (5-4) but was defeated in their all three previous encounters on clay. The Serb used his forehand perfectly in the most important moments to notch a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 victory over the Spaniard, finishing the contest just before midnight of the local time.
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