The Good News is, Tomas Berdych has played well this year and in the U.S. Open. He is in the the Quarterfinals of the last Grand Slam of the season. The bad news is, he must defeat Roger Federer to make it through to the semifinals. It might seem like a daunting task but Berdych is a player who is capable of the upset.
I was fortunate to get a good look at the veteran from the Czech Republic a couple of weeks ago in Winston-Salem. I was impressed with his play during that week, where he was a volley away from winning the Title, losing in a third set tiebreak to John Isner. He spent the week painting the lines with solid ground strokes from both sides, served well, showed exceptional foot work and was able to carry out his game plan. He will need to do all of that and more to upset Federer.
Berdych is no stranger to making deep runs at Grand Slams. He made it to the finals of Wimbledon in 2010 and the semifinals at Roland Garros the same year. He has made the Quarters at the Australian Open in 2011 and 2012. Berdych has worked his way to number 7 in the World but falls into that category of a handful of top players who get lost in the mix because of the dominance of the "Big 4". But make no mistake about it, Berdych is a solid player.
The World Number 7 has played a lot of tennis in 2012 with some highs and a few lows. He helped the Czech Republic win the Hopman Cup along with Petra Kvitova early in January. Following his run to the Quarterfinals in the Australian Open, he won his 7th career ATP title at the Open Sud de France against Gaels Monfils in early February.
Berdych defeated Andy Murray at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April during the Clay Court Season. He would lose to Novak Djokovic in a tough three set match in the semifinals but continued his Clay Court Season at the Mutua Madrid Open in early May where he defeated Juan Martin Del Potro in route to the Finals. He fell to Roger Federer in the Finals of that tournament.
He did not fare as well on Grass, losing in the first round at Wimbledon and then again in the 2012 London Summer Olympics at the same location which is unusual as grass has historically been his best surface.
But Berdych has bounced back nicely playing some of his best tennis late in the summer. He has a lot of weapons and if he can mentally stay in matches, he can be extremely dangerous. He will have to hit on all cylinders to have a chance against Federer who leads the head to head record over Berdych 11-4. But at 26 years old, the 6' 5" Czech is in his prime and playing his best tennis. He could be one to watch at the end of this season and into 2013.