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Wimbledon 2010: Rafael Nadal wary of Tomas Berdych

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Coverage:
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Rafael Nadal
Nadal hit peak form to beat Andy Murray in the semi-finals

By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

World number one Rafael Nadal expects another "very difficult" match on Sunday as he targets a second Wimbledon title in his fourth straight final.

The Spaniard ended Britain's hopes of a first champion since 1976 with a scintillating display against Andy Murray in the semi-finals.

He now meets Tomas Berdych, conqueror of six-time champion Roger Federer and third seed Novak Djokovic.

"No opponent can be more difficult than Tomas to play this final," said Nadal.

"It's very difficult to stop him when he's playing well, and he's playing well.

"He did an amazing tournament. I think he played very good match against Federer; very good match against Djokovic."

RAFAEL NADAL v TOMAS BERDYCH
24----------Age---------------24
1---------Ranking------------13
40---------Titles---------------5
7-----Head-to-head---------3

Centre Court has been the scene of some dramatic men's finals in the last four years: Nadal avenged narrow defeats in the previous two finals with a victory over Federer in 2008 in arguably the greatest match ever played.

Knee tendonitis prevented him from defending his title and he watched from Spain as Federer sank Andy Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set last year.

"I watched at home, yeah, on the sofa," recalled the Majorcan.

"Just enjoying beautiful match. Was a very emotional match. I liked the tennis, so I enjoyed the match. I wasn't ready to be here, so my mind wasn't here."

606: DEBATE

Having lifted the French Open trophy for a fifth time last month, Nadal is now preparing for his 10th Grand Slam final, and he is on a 13-match winning streak at Wimbledon.

Berdych, by contrast, is in unchartered territory. The 24-year-old had not reached a Grand Slam semi-final until he knocked out Murray on his way to the last four in Paris four weeks ago.

And the world number 13 has built on that success at Wimbledon, following his momentous victory over defending champion Federer with a clinical destruction of Djokovic in the semi-finals.

"I'm still not done yet here. One more to go," he said.

The Czech said he would quickly leave his semi-final win "on the side and get ready for the final", and the way he performed against Djokovic after beating Federer suggested he is well capable of doing that.

Andy Murray

Highlights - Nadal too strong for Murray

Nadal has won seven of their 10 meetings, including the last six without dropping a set.

That run includes a quarter-final win at Wimbledon in 2007, but Berdych has been an altogether different player in recent weeks.

The improvement, he says, is down to "many things".

"I mean, I feel, more confidence," he added. "I feel more stronger on the mental side, physically as well.

"You just need to go step by step and beat every player. Coming to every match, every opponent, with the same goals, same tactics: be concentrated, be patient, and try your best. So far, works pretty well."

Berdych, the first Czech to reach the men's final since Ivan Lendl in 1987, believes the key to beating Nadal is to be aggressive.

"You need to be aggressive, don't give him too many chances, and play my game," he said.

"At least I have three wins against him. I have never beaten him on grass, so I think it's a nice opportunity to do it right here right now."



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see also
Nadal ends Murray's hopes in semi
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Berdych reaches Wimbledon final
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Murray hurt by Wimbledon defeat
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Controversial point angers Djokovic
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day 11 as it happened
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Wimbledon men's draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
20 May 10 |  Tennis


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Sydney Morning Herald Nadal nearing 'greatness' - 45 mins ago
TSN Nadal looks to complete comeback against Berdych - 2 hrs ago
Sportsnet.ca Nadal faces new challenge at Wimbledon final - 2 hrs ago
Huffington Post Serena Williams Wins Wimbledon In Dominating Performance - 3 hrs ago
Sky Sports Berdych in bullish mood - 5 hrs ago


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