Friday, April 4, 2008

Nadal Breezes Past Berdych into Miami Finals

World number two, Rafael Nadal, posted a comfortable 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory over tenth-seeded Czech, Tomas Berdych, to reach the Miami finals for the second time in his career.

The 21-year old Spaniard seems to be on a revenge spree as he ousted James Blake earlier in the quarters to improve his record against the American to 2-3 as well as he avenged his three hard-court losses to Berdych with his win on Friday.

Sixth-seeded Andy Roddick could be a possible opponent for Nadal in the finals, and the Spaniard will definitely be looking to settle the score with Roddick, who was responsible for his painful exit from the Dubai quarterfinals last month.

The three-time French Open champion looked like he is in great form mentally and physically as he gave a solid performance against Berdych in less than ideal conditions on Centre Court in Miami. Both players struggled with the wind in the first set as neither could quite dominate on serve before Nadal sealed the first set tiebreak and cruised on to clinch the second set.

Nadal showed us what his forehand down the line shot can do on a couple of occasions on Friday, as well as making some confident approaches to the net that saw him play a couple of sublime short volleys, one of which handed him his first match point.

The Spaniard however didn’t do all the work himself as he was strongly aided with Berdych’s binge of unforced errors.

Nevertheless, Nadal’s win over the Czech will definitely give him a confidence boost ahead of the finals, where he has the chance of capturing some valuable points to inch closer and closer to Roger Federer in the rankings. The Spanish ace however, seems unfazed by that possibility.

“For me it's not obsession to be No. 1, no? Just I always try my best. I am not finding the No. 1. You are No. 1 or you are not No. 1. That's my feelings,” he was quoted on the Miami Masters official website.

Head-to-Head figures
Nadal vs. Roddick 2-2 (Last win: Roddick, Dubai quarterfinals, Hard-court)
Nadal vs. Davydenko 2-0 (Last win: Nadal, Rome semifinals, Clay)

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