ATP Madrid: Tomas Berdych edges David Ferrer to reach quarterfinals

Tomas Berdych advanced to the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open with a close two set win over David Ferrer.

Berdych wins first set by slimmest of margins

This was the first meeting between the Czech and the Spaniard on clay since 2006 and predictably, it was close. Berdych has a much stronger serve and it showed, losing just three points in the opening serve. However, he was unable to make any inroads on Ferrer's serve, which is one of the weaknesses of the Spaniard's game, but Berdych barely made impression, getting to deuce on only two of Ferrer's six service games.

One of those was at 5-4 ahead, when Berdych crafted his only chance to break, but wasted his chance. The set went to a tiebreak, which featured 10 mini-breaks of serve in 18 points after no breaks in the set. In the tiebreak, both players were wasteful, Ferrer letting a mini-break lead slip twice early on while Berdych needed 3 set points to finally close the opening frame out, the tiebreak score reading 10-8 to the Czech.

Tomas Berdych in action in Madrid/Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Tomas Berdych in action in Madrid/Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Berdych wobbles slightly on serve, recovers to close out win, advance to quarterfinals

Berdych is a former finalist in Madrid and that no doubt bolstered his confidence, despite clay being Ferrer's best surface. The Spaniard was still having trouble adapting to Berdych's game and he immediately dropped serve. After not coming close to a break on the Czech's serve in the opening set, Ferrer used his first chance brightly, breaking Berdych's serve to level the set at two.

Unable to sustain any momentum, Ferrer's serve was breached again at the third time of asking in the seventh game, Berdych up 4-3 and now just two games away from the win. It looked as though the Czech would sail to the finish line, but Ferrer has always been known for his toughness and it showed as Berdych served for the match at 5-4. Ferrer dug in and broke back to stay alive and square the set at 5 apiece. Once again, Ferrer's lack of a strong serve showed as Berdych broke again to go up 6-5 and give himself a second chance to close out the win. This time he made no mistake, saving two break points to wrap up a close affair and reach the quarterfinals. 

Murray next

Berdych's last eight opponent will be defending champion Andy Murray. Murray has won their last three meetings, but Berdych has never lost to the Brit on clay, winning all three meetings, including a quarterfinal win here in 2013. Ten of their 13 career meetings have come in Masters or Grand Slam events.