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Wimbledon: Roger Federer-Tomas Berdych as it happened

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By Tom Fordyce
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

1549: Federer's earliest defeat at Wimbledon since 2002, before his reign began. It's been coming, what with the Falla five-setter here on Centre in the first round, the hiccups on No.1 in the second round. Murray's up next, you know, but no-one here is ready for it...

1546: Chaos on Centre, and why not - King Roger of Wimbledon dethroned, and Berdych has a smile so wide you could fly a plane into it - Roger's chin to his chest. Wonderful, wonderful match.

Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 4-6 Berdych
Bedlam around Centre as the two gladiators stumble back out into the sunshine. Berdych on the forehand - on the line, 15-0. The next one looks crippled by nerves - way out, 15-15. Another missed first serve, and Fed is on his backhand, a tiny gap down the line... he's made it! 15-30, the crowd screaming and yelling, hearts pounding, palms dripping... Fed's all over the next point, he has to win this - no, he's let an overhead go, and Berds fights back. 30-30. Huge first serve, finally one landing, the return...wide! Match point.... First serve just wide. Second serve... Fed slices, he slices, Berd forced back, the space opening up - and Fed at the net to angle away a nerveless backhand volley. He's saved it! Another brutal exchange - which man will crack first? It's Berdych, destroyed by a whistling Fed forehand right onto the baseline. From match point to break point... second serve... netted by Roger. I can't believe what I'm watching. Federer's next return looks long - he'll challenge, but it's so long - second match point, serve in, weak return, gap on the Fed backhand, big gap on the Fed backhand... it's there! He's done it!

Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 4-5 Berdych *
He'll have new balls to help him out - what the, double fault! That's better - 15-15 - but that's way, way worse, a regulation forehand clouted long for 15-30. What has the great champion got left in him? An ace, that's what... and another! Wonderful ding-dong, simply splendid. 40-30. Easy forehand again... I can't believe this, he's stuck that wide again. Deuce. Big first serve, return going nowhere, big first serve.... he's stayed alive. That was the easy bit. He'll now have to break Berdych to stay in the championship. I can barely type with tension.

* Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 3-5 Berdych
Bright sunshine at last, not that anyone is looking upwards. Confident Berds overhead for 15-0, Roger punching and counter-punching back to 15-15... oh, there's no-one in tennis who could get that forehand back. Flayed long by Fed for 40-30, and he shakes his fringed head in dismay and disbelief. Wallop - 137 mph serve, and Roger Federer, six times Wimbledon champion, will have to hold serve now to stay in the tournament...

Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 3-4 Berdych *
The answer? Ivan Lendl, of course. Nervy, nervy times for the champ - second serve at 15-30, but he goes for it out wide - big guts. He'll have to do it again as a forehand flies wide for 30-40... second serve, crashed by Berdych... just long. Good golly. Berds can't whip a forehand over the tape, but he pulls us back to deuce with a monstrous crasher out wide next. Fabulous forehand dipper cross-court, somehow reached by the Fed forehand - Berds striding in to the tape, fizzing one the other way... Rog nets! Another slugging exchange, Fed backhand with high elbow.. wide! Another break point, tension so thick you could build walls from it. Solid serve, sliced return, Fed approach, blistering cross-courter, Fed diving... out! Berds has the break - repeat: Berds has the break...

Text in your views on 81111
Tony in Ewell via text to 81111: "The King of grass has lost his crown, The underdog has him match-point down, Berdych hits it hard again, Roger gets his cardigan."

* Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 3-3 Berdych
The last Czech man to reach the semis at Wimbledon? You've got a game to get the guesses in. Oooh, double fault from Berds, the shoulders tightening, and Federer is frisky at 0-30. Missed first serve... missed second serve! Three break points - is this the moment? Better, biting the centre line for 15-40, forehand slashed into the corner for 30-40... and that is quite superb, reaching way out to the backhand side to dink a zipping Fed pass back across the net with stone-dead spin. He's messed up that backhand for a fourth break point though... and saved it with a howitzer ace out wide. To the net, to the net for a smashed put-away, and he's got out of jail - for now...

Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 3-2 Berdych *
12th ace of the day from Fed for 40-15, followed by a mis-hit backhand cross court. Howls of disbelief now, an over-casual dropper from Roger that never looks like climbing over the great divide. Deuce. Sizzling forehand drives from Berdych, forcing Fed deeper and deeper - he'll have a break point, and edges of seats are taking all the backside weight. Ach - forcing backhand to the tape for deuce, timeless backhand volleyed winner, marmalising first serve. Every game a war-zone now.

* Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 2-2 Berdych
Top-drawer exchange from the baseline, fizzer following flasher, toe-to-toe - 23 shots now, and Fed is the first to fall, top-spinning a backhand right onto the tape. 40-15, back to 40-30 as Fed forces him way wide. Oh, what a point - Fed seemingly gone, fighting back, slicing and driving, cutting the ball and clouting it, tearing Berds to pieces for deuce. No no - sublime to sloppy, duffing a regulation backhand into the net. Berdych slides to backhand and tumbles to the turf - deuce again, and such pressure on him now. Eat that - ace hammered wide, unreturnable follow-up to snuff out the Fed sparks.

Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 2-1 Berdych *
Suggestion for W-TM from @TaswellHill - Murray Poppins. Federer looking baffled now as a regulation backhand drive goes awry off the dusty baseline, but he escapes as Berds goes long and wide with successive forehands. In the crowd, a well-timbered man in an Aussie bushranger-style hat stands to stretch and boffs both adjoining spectators with his rumpo as he does so.

* Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 1-1 Berdych
Berdych will fancy a quick and quiet hold here, but Fed's got other ideas. He steps in to attack the second serve, and pressure heavy on the shoulders forces Berds to net the sort of forehand he's been popping away all afternoon. Fourth double-fault, and we're at deuce. Mmm, that's better - boomer serve out wide to the FedForehand, simple put-away to the other side - and another big serve saves the day.

John McEnroe
John McEnroe on BBC TV: "At the moment this guy Tomas Berdych is living up to what we have long expected - when is this guy going to step up and play the way he is capable of playing? "

Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 1-0 Berdych *
Some stats from that third set: Berdych won 80% of points on the second serve as opposed to just 43% from Federer, while on the first serve the Czech won 76% of points with Federer successful on just 55%. Berdych also served five aces, as opposed to one from the top seed. As you digest those, Roger holds with zing on the serve to get us underway in the fourth. But will there be a fifth?

THIRD SET

* Federer 4-6 6-3 1-6 Berdych
What can Federer do about this? Nothing on that - it's too big a serve. Or that - 30-0. Or that - three set points. Thrashing serve out wide, called out, challenged... and in! Ace to seal the two sets to one lead, and when will this extraordinary Wimbledon calm down?

Text in your views on 81111
Julia from Bowtell via text to 81111: "What is Roger playing at? You'd think he was British and playing in his first Wimbledon quarter-final from the stop start nature of his play."

Federer 4-6 6-3 1-5 Berdych *
"Aaaarghg-eee!" screams Berds, and you can understand why - he powers his way to 0-30 on the canting Fed serve, only to let the champ wriggle away - a backhand slicer on to the tape that had so much clear green grass to aim at. That's lovely though, racing in to put away a Beckeresque backhand volley, setting up a sniff of an insurance break - sizzling return, biting baseline, and he's pulled it off!

* Federer 4-6 6-3 1-4 Berdych
Berds cruising at 40-0, only for trouble to rear its head as he challenges a line-call on a Fed forehand. Always in, and that hiccup seems to trouble him. Rog slices low and skiddy to his forehand side, and he tries to force the return - too much mustard on that particular hot-dog, and Fed is suddenly at deuce. Oooh, dicey forehand cross-court from Berds, the ball appearing to come off frame and outer strings but just wobbling over the net. That's a better serve, Fed's reply sailing long, and that was a hugely important hold.

Text in your views on 81111
Ian in Lancs via text to 81111: "You could get Sir Tim to use the tune "RogofAges" as his theme ? "

Federer 4-6 6-3 1-3 Berdych *
Should this go to a fifth - we're getting ahead of ourselves, but still - Berdych has never lost one at Wimbledon in the four occasions it's happened to him. Hold to love from Fed, but concern is creasing his noble brow.

* Federer 4-6 6-3 0-3 Berdych
Fed must be riled now, let alone concerned - no, he's not getting close to the BerdServe now the first one is landing again, and a feeble backhand nose-dives into the net. Rammed around Centre, and the patrons can smell an upset on the heavy, humid air.

Text in your views on 81111
Anon via text to 81111: "re Wimbledon the musical: 'and the home crowd's dilemma, do we support him or not? he may not be English, but he's the closest we've got' "

Federer 4-6 6-3 0-2 Berdych *
Maybe it has boosted the morale - that's a crushing backhand winner down the line, and the Czech has a shock break point. On such small this might matches change... Rog goes foe a big first serve down the middle, misses and casually raises a pinkie to signal a challenge... no no, wide by the width of another ball. Second serve, Berders all over it - shortish ball onto his forehand, thrashed down the line... and in! He's stolen away the break...

Federer 4-6 6-3 0-2 Berdych *
Maybe it has boosted the morale - that's a crushing backhand winner down the line, and the Czech has a shock break point. On such small this might matches change... Rog goes foe a big first serve down the middle, misses and casually raises a pinkie to signal a challenge... no no, wide by the width of another ball. Second serve, Berders all over it - shortish ball onto his forehand, thrashed down the line... and in! He's stolen away the break...

John McEnroe
John McEnroe on BBC TV: "Federer is so elegant to watch. It is so intimidating for the guy playing against him - he barely looks like he is sweating."

* Federer 4-6 6-3 0-1 Berdych
Brilliant half-volley from Berdych. Fed sent that at frightening pace right onto his shoelaces, but he lent back to dink a reflex dropper just over the tape. Wonder if that will lift his morale at this key time. Some nice suggestions coming in for Sir Tim Rice's Wimbledon - The Musical. From @ed_white2507 on Twitter: "After his performance in Mamma Mia Pierce Brosnan would be in contention with Hugh Grant to play Tim Henman."


SECOND SET

Federer 4-6 6-3 Berdych *
Your answer? Jimbo Connors. 27 consecutive GS quarters for the helmet-haired leftie. Fabulous double-handed backhand winner cross-court from Berds for a glimpse at 30-30, but there's no escaping that vice - big serve, mis-hit return, encore next point for the set. Up in the VIP seats, Papa Robert Federer claps in animated fashion, his salt-and-pepper moustache twitching as he does so.

* Federer 4-6 5-3 Berdych
Federer contesting his 25th successive Grand Slam quarter-final here. See if you can guess the identity of the only man in the Open era to have a better record - you've got until the next game. An insipid sun leaking through the blanket of cloud, and Roger is starting to move the big man around - into the net, way out wide, lancing forehand after a lucky net-cord for deuce. Netter from Berd, struggling on his first serve, and Fed has break/set point - hmmm, body serve fended into the net. Just 50% on his first serve, Berds, but that's a better forehand to pull it back, and an ace fired wide beyond the backhand side to seal the escape. 134 mph, that last one. Sizzle.

Federer 4-6 5-2 Berdych *
New balls for Federer - oh do behave - and he makes the most of them with a trouble-free hold to love. We're close to going level here, and Fed is starting to look more like the Rog of old. The Rogofold. All hail The Rogofold!


Text in your views on 81111
Adam in Felixstowe via text to 81111: "Ref dodgeball, no-one makes Federer sweat his own sweat."

* Federer 4-6 4-2 Berdych
Fabulous rally at 15-0. Berders looks to have been diddled by a flip up off the net-cord, but somehow manages to fend the volley back - here comes Roger, speeding in like a man on a bungee... wide! No, that's sloppy from Berdych, popping a simple forehand long, and he'll face another break point - saved with a long-armed first serve muscled out wide. Ace! 124 mph, and Fed barely flinches. Super exchange of flashing backhands, cross court with ever-increasing pace, until Berds batters one straight down the line. Great game.

Federer 4-6 4-1 Berdych *
Sir Tim Rice, yet another legend in this Day of 1,000 Stars, inclines his head regally in the Royal Box. Surely about time he brought out Wimbledon - The Musical. Send your suggested lyrical couplets in on Twitter and text as per instructions above. Lots of potential around the word 'love', you'd have to think. Easy hold from Federer, easing through the gears despite the Berdych speed-bumps.

* Federer 4-6 3-1 Berdych
You wouldn't awfully mind manually refreshing, would you? Something strange happening at the top of the page. Thrashing serves from Berds for 30-0, and then another of those flashing forehands, taken low but pummelled into the vacant forehand wings of Fed's domain. Enjoyable contest, this one.

Federer 4-6 3-0 Berdych *
Curious from Federer, gliding in for a simple volley only to muff it into the net. Oh, thumping 97 mph forehand flat and fast cross-court from Berders for deuce - can he snatch the break back? Not that way he can't - cunning faker from Fed, shaping to to the backhand only to slice the other way, and a crunching, unreturnable serve up next to maintain the advantage.

John McEnroe
John McEnroe on BBC TV: "What I like with Berdych though is that for a big guy he knows he needs to be in a good position and he has got to be prepared the moment he starts to hit a ball. It's not that Federer is playing badly, just that a couple of loose points have cost him this set."

* Federer 4-6 2-0 Berdych
Pressure suddenly on the Big Czech. Double fault for 15-30, followed by a feeble forehand into the net. Two break points. Decent first serve, good approach, solid enough volley deep... oh, what a pass that is from Federer, dipping and swooping away from Berdych's stretch to roars of approval from the connoisseurs watching rapt all around. He's taken the break...

Federer 4-6 1-0 Berdych *
Ace out wide from Fed, and he allows himself a muted, "Come on!" as a Berders backhand return bites the divider. Grey overhead now, although no warnings of rain from our colleagues at BBC Weather. And you argue with Carol Kirkwood at your peril.

FIRST SET

* Federer 4-6 Berdych
Groans around Centre as Fed flicks in another dropper - Berders gets in to it, but that's a tame backhand into the tape with Roger eyeballing from a few feet away. Coo - splendid forehand to leave Fed floundering, and another big body serve to go to two set points. Super rhythm on the serve, a picture-perfect ball toss up high, a whip-crack delivery and... wide from Federer! Berdych has the set, the lead, the momentum...

Federer 4-5 Berdych *
Another backhand pass from Berders, something else that wasn't in the script. Net-cord from Fed to ease the pain, followed by a chipped drop-shot that leaves the big unit floundering. Now then - can he seal the deal off his own serve?

* Federer 3-5 Berdych
Ouch - huge serve from Berders, lolloping in behind it to slap away a forehand volley. The champ can't get close to that - ace, thrasher, ace - and he must now hold serve to stay in the set. What was it Stiller as White Goodman screamed in Dodgeball? "You're going down Lafleur, you're going down like a sweet muffin!"

Federer 3-4 Berdych *
Poor approach from Fed, giving Berders both the time and angle to crack another forehand winner down the line. Fed has only won a single point on his second serve so far, and that's weak again - forehand into the tape for break point, and that's the strangest of shots - a feeble, sit-up forehand that Berders can cream deep and force a hurried waft... long, from the hurried Swiss, and the break has been snatched. Ben Stiller there, bigger of hair than normal. Will come back with some sort of Dodgeball reference/gag shortly.

* Federer 3-3 Berdych
Another famous face there in the Box - Professor Minerva McGonagall, otherwise known as Dame Maggie Smith. Was rather hoping to be able to segue from that into some sort of 'magic from the two players' line there, but it's more slugfest than sorcery so far. Big forehand from Berders to draw level.

Federer 3-2 Berdych *
Another one of those lovely dipping backhand passes from Berdych, but it's small succour against a spot-on Fed serve. Lovely ripping backhand from Roger, watched on approvingly by wife Mirka in a lemon-yellow pastel cardigan.

Text in your views on 81111
Dan via text to 81111: "Shouldn't the collective noun be 'a wrinkle of Chelsea pensioners in the crowd'?"

* Federer 2-2 Berdych
Checking the Royal Box invites list, it appears that there's also a chap in there called Mr Lee Styslinger III. What my friend Ben Dirs would give for a name like that. Federer finds himself foxed by a deep forehand that misbehaves on the bare patch just inside the baseline, but then spots a Berdych dropper a mile off and cruises in to dispatch with elan. Ah, lovely backhand pass from the Czech, dipping one up and over the net and past the stretching Federer racquet, and crashing serve - 137 mph - forces Fed to send his return long.

Federer 2-1 Berdych *
This is warming up nicely - service hold to love for Federer, going wide to the Berd backhand and cantering through at pace. Who's that in the Royal Box? Looks remarkably like Sir Michael Caine. And isn't that Jennifer Saunders?

* Federer 1-1 Berdych
The first time these two played each other, Berdych made Roger cry. Sounds unlikely I know, but so did Pironkova in the semis until Tuesday. Happened at the Athens Olympics after a defeat early in the tournament. Perfect start this time, the first serve a brutal weapon, Federer helpless under its onslaught.

Federer 1-0 Berdych *
Sunshine breaks through for the first time today as - nope, it's gone back in again. Super forehand from Berders, opening up his body to lace one down the line. Ace from Rog, and he appears to be cruising, but that's a lame backhand into the net - and now another! Gasps of astonishment around Centre, but that's a rock-solid backhand after a racing forehand approach - serve held, and a little clenched fist there from Federer. Nervous?

* denotes next server

1304: Federer prowling about in his cable-knit cardie, somehow combining knitwear and menace in a way not seen since Val Doonican last picked up a guitar.

1301: Big unit, Berdych - 6' 5", legs like racehorse, lots of weight behind that serve. A patch of red in the corner of Centre - we've got an outing of Chelsea Pensioners in place. Welcome, dapper old stagers.

1258:Come on, it's an easy put-away at the net. Berdych. Hello - here come the players!

1255: Intriguing head-to-head record between these two. Roger leads eight wins to two, including both their meetings on grass - but guess who won the last match between the two?

1250: The Champ vs the Czech, the no.1 seed vs the no.12, the Cardie vs the Hardy. Call it a pre-Muzzington aperitif if you like, but you'll be downplaying one of the tastiest snacks a tennis fan could hope for.



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