Live Commentary: Novak Djokovic vs. Tomas Berdych - as it happened

Live Commentary: Djokovic vs. Berdych - as it happened
© Andrew Matthews / PA Photos
Sports Mole's live coverage of the Wimbledon quarter-final between top seed Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych.

Novak Djokovic went into today's Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych still yet to drop a set in this year's tournament.

Berdych fought hard early on to force a tense first set tie-breaker, but Djokovic responded strongly to draw first blood.

The Serb came under pressure again in the second set at 3-0 down and had to dig deep to win five successive games, easing further ahead in the process.

Djokovic got ruthless in the third set, finishing a confident victory to earn a place in the semi-finals.

Look back at how the top seed booked a final-four clash with Juan Martin del Potro by reading Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.


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12.52pmAfternoon tennis fans! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for comprehensive coverage of what promises to be an intriguing day of men's quarter-final action.

12.54pmEight players will become four in the men's draw today as we really get down to the business end of the tournament. Top seed Novak Djokovic has been flawless in his match to the quarter-finals, but will surely get his sternest test of the tournament this afternoon against Tomas Berdych.

12.57pmDjokovic definitely has a score to settle on Court One this afternoon, with vivid memories of losing to Berdych in the semi-finals at SW19 in 2010. Berdych also picked up a three-set win in their most recent meeting on tour this season, so plenty of encouragement there for the big-serving Czech.

12.59pmWeather permitting we have what promises to be a very special day at Wimbledon in prospect, with four matches across the men's draw. A quick heads up that Sports Mole will have live text commentary from all four men's quarter-finals, with my colleague Pascal Lesmesre ready for Juan Martin del Potro versus David Ferrer on Centre Court. That match can be followed in its entirety by clicking here.

1.02pmBack on Court One both players are due in just a few moments. Berdych survived a tricky test on this court two days ago, eventually having too much power and presence for Australian starlet Bernard Tomic over four sets. Djokovic is yet to need second gear and eased through another straight-sets win on Monday against Tommy Haas.

1.05pmWEATHER WATCH! Luckily a few short showers that threatened play this morning have left us, for now. A grey, gloomy sky is thankfully dry at the moment, fingers crossed that Court One's double-header is not disrupted this afternoon.

1.07pmBerdych and Djokovic are out to a warm reception on Court One, with Djokovic playing a match away from Centre for the first time this year. Pre-match formalities are well underway, expect play to begin in the next five minutes!

1.10pmPREDICTION! Just time for to jinx top seed Djokovic by confidently predicting that he will prevail in a hard-fought match, with Berdych more than capable of competing at this level. I'll take the Serb to reach the semi-finals in four sets, perhaps surviving an early scare in the process. This promises to be a thoroughly entertaining clash between world ranked number's one and six!

1.12pmHere we go then with the first men's quarter final, with Berdych to serve first and get an early chance to get his biggest weapon working against a familiar foe. World number 1 against a former runner-up at SW19, game on!

1.14pmAn early glimpse of Berdych's raw power on a forehand drive, moving Djokovic across the baseline to claim the first point. The Czech follows that up by aiming a deft volley at the net, with the ball falling flat for an easy point and a 30-0 lead.

1.16pmBREAK POINT! Berdych tries to hard to smash successive forehands deep at the baseline, losing three consecutive points to Djokovic the chance to make an early dent on his opponent's serve. The seventh seed soon responds with power inside the line, driving a winner across court to level at deuce.

Djokovic *0-1 BerdychAfter a serious struggle Berdych survives two break points to get an opening service hold. Djokovic made the Czech work very hard for every point, with trademark defensive guile at the baseline. This has all the makings of a gruelling match.

1.21pmNews from Centre Court and real drama in the match between Del Potro and Ferrer, with the Argentine falling awkwardly on his ankle. The eighth seed could be forced to retire after just a single game, we will keep you posted when there are further developments.

Djokovic 1-1* BerdychBack on Court One Djokovic has take a routine hold, using effective groundstrokes to make a comfortable start on serve.

Djokovic *1-2 BerdychMuch more like it from Berdych on serve, finding range with a brilliant backhand winner down the line. Djokovic is in aggressive mood early and looks desperate to attack his opponent's second serve, perhaps a sign this is step up in competition for the top seed.

1.28pmEarly signs of trouble for Novak in his second service game, with Berdych catching a fine forehand pass just inside the baseline. Another Berdych effort at a forehand winner just goes beyond the sideline, giving Djokovic a welcome reprieve at 30-15.

Djokovic 2-2* BerdychThe top seed follows a wide ace with a controlled forehand winner to keep the first set firmly on serve.

Djokovic *2-3 BerdychConfident stuff on serve from Berdych, with his second ace of match helping the Czech earn a routine hold. Very rare for Djokovic not to get his racket on an effort down the line, which tells you just how powerful the seventh seed is when in full flow.

1.35pmAwesome hitting with depth and pace from Berdych gives him the first point of his opponent's service game, belting a forehand pass into the corner. The Czech is caught out at the net in the next point though, with Djokovic able to chase down a poorly-timed drop shot with precision.

Djokovic 3-3* BerdychQuite magnificent defensive work from Djokovic retrieves a deep forehand at the baseline, with an unforced error soon following from Berdych at 40-30. Early signs of pressure on the top seed there, but he responded with intelligence to earn a hard-fought hold.

1.40pmBerdych just starts to send stray forehands past the baseline too frequently, falling 15-30 behind in his latest service game. A superb baseline exchange then goes the seventh seed's way after 18 strokes to level at 30-30.

1.42pmBREAK POINT! The Czech is caught off balance by a strong return of serve, conceding break point in the process. A fine response on second serve gets Berdych out of trouble though, with risky power paying off to keep stave off his third break point of the match.

Djokovic *3-4 BerdychDjokovic takes a heavy slip at the baseline while attempting to switch and meet a forehand, almost hyper-extending his knee. Thankfully the Serb quickly returns to his feet, but with a strong chance to break serve spurned.

Djokovic 4-4* BerdychGame number eight sees new balls introduced for Djokovic on serve, and he quickly uses them to win successive points. The Serb then leaps in the air to get extra push behind a forehand across court, with a quick ace in the next point sealing a superb hold to love.

1.50pmBerdych is just struggling to deal with the depth behind his opponent's return on second serve, quickly falling 15-30 behind. Djokovic then wastes a cheap challenge to question a baseline call that was correct, with Berdych also wrong to challenge a first serve called out in the next point.

1.52pmBoth players raise the bar in a tremendous baseline exchange, with Berdych shows stubborn resistance to win the point with a booming forehand pass. He goes for broke again soon after but this time comes up short, levelling this vital service game at deuce.

1.54pmImmense work at the baseline gets Djokovic a break point he thoroughly deserves, sending a forehand slice into the corner at full stretch. Berdych responds with venom on a first serve under pressure though, finding enough power to keep this game in the balance.

Djokovic *4-5 BerdychAgain Berdych digs deep to survive on serve. Djokovic is starting to look frustrated and knows he should have taken one of his four break-point chances in the first serve. The Serb looks in top form right now and is forcing his opponent to work very hard, but right now the Czech is showing spirit and shot-making of the highest order to hang on in there.

Djokovic 5-5* BerdychThe top seed feels some unexpected pressure on serve at 40-30 but handles it with composure, guiding a forehand deep to the baseline for a fifth successive hold.

Djokovic *5-6 BerdychBy far the seventh seed's most comfortable service game of the first set, earning a hold to love. Djokovic just dropped a level in that game, perhaps taking a breather in anticipation of a tie-break. The Serb will now serve for his place in the first set.

2.05pmBerdych crushes what must be at least his fourth forehand winner down the line, but fails to follow it up as an unforced error at the baseline edges Djokovic ahead on serve.

Djokovic 6-6* BerdychTwo net calls go against Berdych as he drives into the net at 30-30, with Djokovic able to take full advantage and send a clinical volley over his head. An ace soon follows and we will need a tie breaker to decide this first set.

2.10pmTIE BREAK! Berdych is in confident mood on that ferocious forehand side, uncorking a strong shot into the corner to level the breaker at 1-1. Another big effort falls long in the next point though, edging Djokovic ahead 2-1.

2.12pmA surprisingly slack Djokovic backhand drifts wide to edge Berdych 3-2 up, but a timely ace down the middle from Djokovic means there is still nothing to choose between the pair at the change of ends. 3-3 and anyone's tie breaker at this stage.

2.14pmBerdych gets aggressive on his opponent's serve and it quickly pays off, an overhead smash giving the Czech a mini-break and a 4-3 lead. Once again though Djokovic responds, stepping inside to slam a forehand deep towards the baseline for parity at 4-4.

2.16pmSET POINT! Errors creeping at both ends of the court now at 5-5. On second serve Djokovic is the first to make a move, earning set point at 6-5 as a Berdych forehand falls short at the net in a poor unforced error.

Djokovic *7-6(5) BerdychSET! Berdych makes a mistake that proves decisive, sending a stray forehand well past the sideline to give Djokovic the tie breaker. Just two unforced errors in that whole first set from the top seed, who just held firm under intense pressure to earn the first set.

2.19pmThat narrow defeat in the breaker has to be tough to take for Berdych, who played just about at the top of his game for most of that first set. We need to see a positive response from the giant Czech early in the second set, or this match could quickly slip away.

2.21pmBREAK POINTS! I asked for a swift response from Berdych and boy has he delivered. Attacking intent on that trusty forehand is enough to earn the Czech a 0-40 lead and three break point chances.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 0-1* BerdychBREAK! A very uncharacteristic pair of errors at the baseline from Djokovic hands Berdych a confidence-boosting break of serve. That is just the third time in the entire championship to date that the Serb has failed to hold serve.

Djokovic 7-6(5) *0-2 BerdychMore confident hitting sees Berdych consolidate that break early in the second set. Djokovic looked pretty casual with a pair of lazy returns in that game, which is most unlike a player who normally competes for every point with vim and vigour.

2.27pmBack to basics on serve for Djokovic, hitting double figures in aces to edge 40-15 ahead. Berdych keeps the game interesting with a deft touch at the net, before a long forehand from the top seed sends it to deuce.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 0-3* BerdychBREAK! Outstanding hitting deep at the baseline earns Berdych his third successive game a double break in the second set. The Czech chased down a slack second serve and then made it count, prevailing in a lengthy baseline exchange.

2.33pmBREAK POINTS! Just when he seemed to be building momentum Berdych gets very slack on serve, with a double fault handing Djokovic 0-40 and three chances to break right back.

Djokovic 7-6(5) *1-3 BerdychBREAK! Berdych is rightly furious as an overrule from the umpire is shown to be a curious decision by the Czech's challenge, forcing a crucial point at 15-40 to be replayed. Djokovic is quick to take advantage when play resumes, earning a break with a precise forehand deep to the baseline. Now just a break in this topsy-turvy second set.

2.36pmUPDATE! A quick piece of news to bring you Centre Court, where Del Potro has responded magnificently to that early fall and now has a two-set advantage against Ferrer.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 2-3* BerdychThe top seed is just finding momentum as he hold to love, moving to within one game of a second set that looked lost just five minutes ago. Important for Berdych to stay positive and attack his shots now despite a slack couple of games.

2.40pmBerdych is just struggling to deal with the sheer volume of returns on first serve, with Djokovic finding range and touch at the baseline for a 0-30 lead on his opponent's serve.

Djokovic 7-6(5) *3-3 BerdychBREAK! A slack forehand comes back off the net from Berdych, once again gifting his opponent an easy break. Djokovic has come roaring back in the second set and without having to push the pace too much is back in charge of the match.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 4-3* BerdychFor the first time in this second set Djokovic leads, and from 0-3 down that is quite an achievement. Berdych just looks unable to maintain the high standard required to stay with the top seed, with struggles surprisingly coming with his percentage on serve. Time for the seventh seed to dig deep here in his latest service game.

Djokovic 7-6(5) *4-4 BerdychJust what the doctor ordered for Berdych, a welcome hold with just one point conceded. The Czech just needs to hang tough as he did for so much of the first set, and with that powerful forehand drive he is still capable of steadying the ship.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 5-4* BerdychDjokovic cranks up the pressure with the ruthless hold to love, showing variety with a clever wide forehand that catches Berdych off guard. The Czech will now have to serve for his place in the second set, you feel a strong response here is absolutely imperative to keep this match competitive.

2.55pmSET POINTS! Berdych is in big trouble after a risky forehand smashes wide to fall 0-30 behind. His fifth ace of the match cannot stem the tide, with yet another unforced error handing Djokovic two set points.

Djokovic 7-6(5) *6-4 BerdychSET! A catalogue of errors finally catches up with Berdych as a soft volley falls short of the net, handing Djokovic a second set he scarcely deserves. Difficult to see the Czech coming back now, but quite how he managed to spurn a 3-0 lead on serve in that set is anyone's guess.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-4 1-0* BerdychAce number 11 helps Djokovic start the third set with a solid hold. Mentally you feel that Berdych has to respond with a confident hold here to give himself any belief that a comeback is possible.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-4 *1-1 BerdychDjokovic hits a stunning forehand pass with swerve towards the sideline, making this Berdych service game very interesting at 30-15. The Czech then uses a precise first serve to ease further ahead, before slamming a powerful ace out wide to earn a welcome hold.

3.05pmBoth players decide the time is right to change racket before swapping ends, with Djokovic finding range with a superb backhand drive at the baseline when play resumes.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-4 2-1* BerdychAll too easy there for Djokovic as ace number 13 brings up a hold to love. On this form the Serb looks pretty unstoppable, but to Berdych's credit he keeps fighting against the odds.

3.12pmBREAK POINT! Under pressure at 40-30 Berdych sends an untimely double fault down the court, giving Djokovic a sniff at deuce. A stray forehand then exposes his weakness on the backhand side, giving the Serb advantage and a huge break point.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-4 *3-1 BerdychBREAK! Just dreadful from Berdych there, sending a fourth double fault long to give Djokovic a cheap break of serve. The top seed is now marching towards the semi-finals simply by playing solid, effective counter tennis at the baseline.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-4 4-1* BerdychMore supreme hitting behind an accurate first serve gets Djokovic a hold to keep the match firmly in his sights. Court One is filled with a sense of resignation now, can Berdych mount any kind of last-ditch response?

3.20pmDjokovic resembles a gymnast with his fluid, almost elastic stance when defending at the baseline. Berdych is once again caught wanting at 30-30 but fights back with an aggressive move at the net to ease ahead. Must close this service game out to keep faint hopes alive.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-4 *4-2 BerdychThe hold he so badly needed comes behind a precise second serve, with Berdych still a break behind in the third set.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-4 5-2* BerdychEven on second serve Djokovic looks supremely confident now, slicing a clever ace down the middle with precision. Berdych must now serve to stay in the match and delay what is surely a defeat he can merely delay.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-4 *5-3 BerdychA comfortable hold to love for Berdych, how he must have wished for something similar at 3-0 ahead in the second set. Djokovic will now serve for the match at the top of the court and would expect to get the job done here with minimum fuss.

3.26pmBerdych gives himself a real talking to at the baseline but can't keep a wide second serve in play, falling 30-0 down in the process. Just two points required now for the top seed.

Djokovic 7-6(5) 6-4 6-3 BerdychGAME SET AND MATCH! Berdych drives inside but misses a forehand volley at the net, handing Djokovic a straight-sets win he thoroughly deserved.

3.30pmOn paper that looked routine for the top seed, but he got a stern test for much of the first two sets. On this evidence it is very difficult to see any player sustaining the level required to match the Serb on this surface.

3.33pmBerdych did little to dispel his reputation as a player just on the cusp of being a top-level performer in that match, but did show fight and a fierce forehand for at least the first hour of the match.

3.36pmDjokovic is more than happy to sign autographs after safe passage to the semi-finals, where he will meet Juan Martin del Potro, who has just come through a straight-sets win over David Ferrer.

3.39pmThat just about does it for another supreme effort from Djokovic, but be sure to stick with Sports Mole for live coverage of both of the remaining men's semi-finals, which will begin shortly!

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates a point against France's Jeremy Chardy during day six of the Wimbledon Championships on June 29, 2013
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