Live Commentary: Tomas Berdych vs. Kevin Anderson - as it happened

Tomas Berdych celebrates hits a return at the Australian Open tennis championship on January 16, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you game-by-game updates of Tomas Berdych's quarter-final victory over Kevin Anderson at the Indian Wells Masters.

Tomas Berdych has become the first man to make the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters after overcoming Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4 in California.

The pair headed into the contest on the back of five previous meetings, all of which the Czech has secured, but Anderson would have been encouraged by his ability to push his opponent to the wire.

Unfortunately for the South African, he was unable to push the match into a third set and Berdych was relatively comfortable throughout the contest, which lasted just over an hour and a half.

You can read how the quarter-final clash unfolded in our game-by-game coverage below.


Sort:
Newest
Oldest
7.30pmGood evening tennis fans! Thank you for joining me for the first men's quarter-final of the tournament in California. We have a potentially thrilling encounter between Tomas Berdych and Kevin Anderson. I say thrilling, because these two are no stranger to taking games to the wire!

7.32pmThese players have met five times so far in their careers and Berdych is definitely the more prolific of the two as he has won all five of their bouts. You may be thinking that this will be a walkover for the Czech, but let me give you a snippet of information that might make you change your mind...

7.34pmEach time that they have met, there has only been one match that has not been stretched to three sets. Also, in the French Open last year, Berdych was pushed to a 6-4 3-6 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 win. I'm exhausted just looking at that!

7.38pmThe last time that Berdych and Anderson came face to face on the court was at the Australian Open earlier this year. The duo played out a battling match, which ended with a mammoth tie-break in the third set, which Berdych clinched 6-3 6-2 7-6(13). And that was in the fourth round! A place in the semi-finals of the first Masters of the year is at stake tonight.

7.41pmWe could be in store for a cracking match, but it partly depends on Anderson's troublesome elbow. The South African was forced to undergo surgery after appearing in Melbourne, but he still sits on an impressive 13-3 for the year. Although tonight will be a big test for him, considering how his previous encounters with Berdych have been tight.

7.44pmAnderson is the only unseeded player left in the tournament as members from the top seven remain in contention for the Indian Wells trophy. A blockbuster tie between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will follow this clash. What a match that's likely to be! It'll be a massive test for the Spaniard, who's trying to adapt his knee back to hard courts.

7.46pmWorld number one Novak Djokovic will meet Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the next round, while Brit Andy Murray will take on Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the semis, possibly setting up yet another head-to-head with the Serbian.

7.52pmAnyway, enough about them! Let's resume focus on the pair due on court in around 10 minutes or so. Berdych is heading into the match in good form. The Czech overcame Mischa Zverev, Florian Mayer, and Richard Gasquet all in straight sets over the course of the competition. He's also had a rather impressive year so far, despite not picking up a title as yet. The 27-year-old finished runner-up in Marseille and Rotterdam as well as reaching the quarter-final stage in Australia.

7.54pmAs we approach nearer to the start of play, let's revisit the highlights from a previous meeting between Berdych and Anderson - the Paris Masters last year, which finished 1-6 6-3 6-4 to the Czech.



7.57pmSo how do you see this turning out? If I had to make a prediction, I'd say that Berdych might just edge it and set up a semi-final showdown against Nadal or Federer. While Anderson has pushed the Czech to the wire on a number of occasions, Berdych has come out on top every time and the South African's elbow could weaken his game.

8.01pmWe're still awaiting the pair to get underway on court, but it's interesting to note that this is the first time in the tournament's history that seven of the top eight seeds have made the final eight. Hopefully that means that we have plenty of entertaining tennis ahead!

8.04pmWhile Anderson's record against Berdych isn't a great one, you do get the feeling that he has to overcome the Czech at some point. Could the Indian Wells quarter-finals be the time do to that? We'll find out soon enough!

8.06pmOf course, Anderson had to take a longer road to get to this stage as he was unseeded for the competition. During his campaign, he has beaten Victor Hanescu, David Ferrer, Jarkko Nieminen and Gilles Simon, who he knocked out in three sets.

8.08pmAs you may have noticed, we haven't started yet! While the match was scheduled for 8pm, I think we're all aware that tennis never gets underway when they tell us. I'm sure the players will be itching to get out there now!

8.11pmWhile we wait, let's have a look at the women's campaign. We already have one semi-final lined up! It's a battle between the Russians as number two seed Maria Sharapova will go up against Maria Kirilenko for a place in the final.

8.14pmAngelique Kerber was gifted a place in the semi-finals due to Samantha Stosur's withdrawal through injury. Kerber will discover her opponent tonight as Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki go head to head in the quarter-finals.

8.17pmThere's still no sign of Berdych and Anderson! We've been informed that there is a delay, however nobody seems to know what the delay is. Very helpful, of course. When there is a hint of movement by the doors, I shall let you know.

8.19pmIn the meantime, let's have a little look at Murray's campaign in California. As mentioned earlier, the Scotsman will take on Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals after he overcame Argentine Carlos Berlocq in straight sets.

8.23pmWant to see some highlights? Of course you do...


Sponsored:Nervous about the result? Want to 'Cash in your bet'? See how with William Hill.

8.26pmAs for Murray's opponent, Del Potro, who has never won a Masters, eased past his encounter with Tommy Haas by securing a 6-1 6-2 victory. On tournament form, you'd have to argue that Del Potro is favourite, but Murray has the knack of winning games when he's not playing his best tennis.

8.29pmRight, we have players on the court! Berdych and Anderson are preparing themselves in the bright Californian sunshine. Fingers crossed that we have an exciting match ahead!

8.30pmUnfortunately the pair don't have a huge audience there to support them, but that could possibly be down to the fact that most fans will be flocking to watch Nadal and Federer later on. Although, spectators may filter in throughout this first quarter-final.

8.37pmAnd we're ready to get play underway! Berdych to serve...

Berdych 1-0* AndersonBerdych gets the first game on the board relatively comfortably in his opening serve. Anderson stuttered on his first return to give Berdych the first points, but he managed to go 15-15 by forcing the Czech to knock wide. Despite competing in a few rallies, Anderson was too hard on some of his shots, which forced to him to hit the ball behind the line.

Berdych *1-1 AndersonAnderson's second serve troubled Berdych as he failed to control it and knocked the ball wayward to give away a point. The South African remained composed in his service game to take the game without reply from Berdych.

Berdych 2-1* AndersonBerdych just managed to hold his service game. He droves to the net for a drop-shot to claim the opening point but a double fault gave Anderson some hope of breaking. A low shot over the court forced Anderson to drive the ball back into the net, which seems to be an early problem for the South African, but he was able to make Berdych do some running by spraying the ball to the corner of the baseline, which the Czech was unable to return. An ace from Berdych took the game to deuce before finding the advantage and wrapping up the game.

Berdych *2-2 AndersonAnderson saves his hold, but only just! Berdych returned Anderson's serve well, which forced the South African to launch his forehand too hard and knock the ball behind the line. A nice little rally between the two resulted in Berdych taking a 30-0 lead after Anderson was too slow to get to the ball and slammed it into the net. The South African gots a point back with an impressive shot down the line, which came before a lovely follow-up to the net to knock down a shot and get back into the game. Berdych knocked the ball out to drop to deuce, which allowed Anderson to regain composure, score an advantage and win the game.

Berdych 3-2* AndersonBerdych manages to hold but not without some fightback from his opponent. Anderson returned with precision and pace, which threw Berdych off course to knock the ball behind the baseline, but once again he struggled to catch up after returning the serve, and Berdych drews level on 30-30. A lovely point put Anderson in charge by getting a good rotating low shot to find the corner, but Berdych immediately responded to get to deuce, which occurred twice during the match until the Czech went on to hold the game.

Berdych *3-3 AndersonAnother good rally between the pair, which ended with the South African hitting the ball into the net and relinquishing the first point. His serve stayed strong for him and Berdych was unable to halt his opponent's game to take the first break of the contest.

Sponsored:Acculmulator going well? Want to take your money now? Check out William Hill's 'CASH IN MY BET' service!

Berdych 4-3* AndersonBerdych is forced to dig deep again. The crowd appreciated it when Anderson went 30-0 up by returning with a backhand down the line, which left Berdych no time to reach the shot. He eventually fought back with quick feet down the baseline and a vital ace to take a 40-30 lead, but Anderson gets him again by using the pace of Berdych's forehand to push the ball up the line and take it deuce. Despite some tussling between the pair, which involved being pulled back to deuce three times, Berdych was able to hold once more.

Berdych *4-4 AndersonWe're still waiting for our first break! Anderson took the opening point but looked disappointed with himself after hitting a wayward forehand across the court to force the game level at 15-15. He immediately responded with an ace, which was followed by some lovely footwork towards the net, which allowed him to launch a point-winning backhand shot and set up the winning point.

Berdych 5-4* AndersonA more impressive hold from the Czech there. Anderson's backhand cut across the face of the court leaving Berdych stumbling along as he tried to reach it. While Anderson has executed some impressive shots, Berdych showed why he is the sixth seed by securing a perfect ace, followed by a strong forehand, which forced Anderson to knock the ball out. Can the South African serve to stay in the set?

Berdych 6-4 AndersonSET! An unfortunate way for Anderson to lose the set, but it's a positive start from Berdych. Anderson relinquished the first point by hitting the ball out, but he forced his opponent to do the same on the next point with a strong serve. An impressive backhand down the line ensured that he took a 30-15 lead as Berdych was once again unable to rotate in time to return the shot. Having initially taken the lead, Berdych was handed the set point from another wayward shot, but an ace moved the game to deuce. Once again, the pair went back and forth from deuce, but Berdych edged the contest with an impressive half volley to take the advantage and then push on to grab a set point courtesy of a double fault from Anderson.

Berdych 6-4 1-0* AndersonBerdych looks fully in control now! The Czech took two points swiftly in his opening service game in the second set. Despite relinquishing a point to his opponent, Berdych was able to respond with an ace and then clinch the game with a strong serve, which Anderson failed to return.

Berdych 6-4 *1-1 AndersonIt was vital for Anderson to respond instantly, and he did just that. Despite making a few errors, the South African's first serve remained intact as they forced Berdych to slam into the net on two occasions. A sweeping forehand down the line ensured that he held his serve.

Berdych 6-4 2-1* AndersonA very easy hold from Berdych there. Anderson began to look more frustrated as he failed to return Berdych's serves, which gave the Czech the ability to stamp his mark on the game. A long rally from the pair resulted in a lovely sweeping shot from Berdych, who is beginning to find his stride in this contest.

Berdych 6-4 *2-2 AndersonAnderson managed to just hold his serve following some pressure from Berdych. Despite being a set down and failing to find a break as yet, Anderson remained composed on his serve by securing an instant ace and then forcing Berdych to return with a wayward backhand shot, which drove past the line. However, the Czech responded with a stunning groundstroke, which drove down the line to give him a hold in the game. Two errors in quick succession though, ruined Anderson's previous work, and Berdych was able to capitalise by taking it to deuce. The South African's thumping shot to the corner of the right-hand side enabled him to keep his hold.

Berdych 6-4 3-2* AndersonAnother very comfortable service game for Berdych as he begins to take a stronghold on the match. The Czech was able to move to 30-0 swiftly, and another short rally resulted in Anderson knocking the ball up to the sky following Berdych's powerful forehand. The Czech needs to find another break soon in order to keep up the pressure.

Berdych 6-4 *3-3 AndersonBerdych is struggling to find a break with Anderson's strong serve. The South African nabbed two opening points by driving the ball to the Czech, who was unable to return. Anderson let himself down, though, hitting a backhand too far behind the baseline, but Berdych attracted the cheers with a sliced backhand down the line. To prevent Berdych from taking the initial break point, Anderson soared up to the net to stop the pace of the ball with a short hit over the net and kept himself in the contest.

Sponsored:Bet £25 and get a £25 FREE bet with William Hill. Click here to join now. T&Cs apply, new customers only

Berdych 6-4 4-3* AndersonOnce again, Berdych managed to stay composed in his service game. The Czech responded with his own powerful serves to throw Anderson off his game, and the South African attempted to return with a low shot, but it smashed into the net, giving Berdych a 40-30 lead. He swiftly wrapped up the game by forcing Anderson to hit wide off the line.

Berdych 6-4 *4-4 AndersonIt was crucial for Anderson to hold his serve or risk being in danger of losing the tie. He relinquished the first point, and then dropped the second with a double fault. Despite his poor start, he was able to draw level on 30-30 with some fast balls, which were followed by a powerful ace. While he looked like he could keep his lead, a wonderful back-swing from Berdych moved the game to deuce, but Anderson was able to hold on once more to keep himself in the quarter-final.

Berdych 6-4 5-4* AndersonThe pressure turned on Berdych to keep his serve, but he dropped a point after being unable to time his footing, which forced him to hit his shot out. Anderson positioned himself perfectly on the baseline to hit his forehand down the line to draw level on 30-30, but Berdych did just enough to snatch the game. Anderson will now have to serve to stay in the match.

10.06pmMATCH POINT BERDYCH...

Berdych 6-4 6-4 AndersonGAME SET AND MATCH TOMAS BERDYCH!

10.08pmSo, there we have it! Berdych will go up against either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters. The Czech is the first man into the final four, and you'd have to say that he deserves his place over Anderson, who failed to make it count in the important moments. Berdych wasn't over the top in his celebrations, just a smile and a fist-pump from the Czech.

10.10pmWhile Anderson played some impressive tennis, Berdych's superiority shone through and he has now beaten the South African six times in his career.

10.11pmAround 2am UK time Federer and Nadal go head to head, while Novak Djokovic vs. Tsonga and Murray vs. Del Potro are due up on court tomorrow. Thank you for joining me this evening and stay with Sports Mole for all the news surrounding the Indian Wells. Enjoy!

Spaniard Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the Brazil Open ATP tournament after defeating David Nalbandian on February 17, 2013
Read Next:
Result: Nadal overcomes tough Gulbis
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole