Tomas Berdych strolled into the Wimbledon semi-finals, defeating Lucas Pouille 7-6(4) 6-3 6-2. The straight sets victory ensured the Czech reached his fifth Grand Slam semi-final and his second at SW19 after finishing runner up in the 2010 Championships.
Fast start for Berdych
The world number nine started the match on the front foot breaking Pouille in just the third game however the Frenchman, a surprise package in this tournament levelled the set straight up with a break of his own. With nothing splitting the pair the first set went to a tie-break in which both players struggled to hold serve.
However, Berdych managed to break once more than Pouille bringing up two set points of which he took the first. It was from then that the Czechs experience showed as he broke early in the second set before going on to serve it out confidently to take a strong lead.
The third set was much of the same, whilst Pouille held serve in the first game, Berdych would go on to win five games in a row before serving out the match at 5-2 to move his first Grand Slam semi-final since the Australian Open in 2015.
A welcome short match for Berdych
It had not been an easy previous round for either player with both Berdych and Pouille coming through gruelling five setters against Jiri Vesely and Bernard Tomic respectively. The shortness of the match will come as a welcome relief for Berdych and marks just the second match where the 30 year-old has not conceded a set in this tournament.
Down but not out
As for Pouille, the tournament will undoubtedly be fondly remembered as he advanced past the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. It was a coming of age match for the young Frenchman who enjoyed a successful tournament, notching wins against the likes of Bernard Tomic, Marius Copil and Juan Martin Del Potro. After reaching the semi-finals of the Rome Masters, it’s clear he is here to stay.
Berdych however moves on and awaits the winner of Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals.