Ruthless Nadal gives a Berd bath


It's strange to think that, after playing with each other at least once a year between 2005 and 2015, this is the duo's first meeting in almost four years. But if the bagel still weighed on Nadal's mind, he made amends with interest at the start of the fourth round match.

The difference between the break points that Berdych rejected in the opening game might make it more academic with each passing game. Since then, the 33-year-old has the best seat at home for one hour Nadal masterclass, paying the heaviest price for some poor service.

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The Czech made just six of his first 16 deliveries, not to say much difference from the service finding the box, winning two points each in his first service and secondly when his own bagels were served. Nadal was not done there, rattling nine consecutive matches before Berdych interrupted the scoreboard, raising his fist as relief applause spread around Rod Laver Arena after being held for 1-3.

But Nadal did not give up, breaking once more to ensure the superiority of the two sets. But Berdych's credit for holding himself in third, remained with the Spaniard for the first 11 matches and even carried a set point on Nadal's service before leading 4-3 in the next tiebreaker.


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