Wimbledon - Federer dumped out by Berdych
Crisp-hitting Czech Tomas Berdych claimed the biggest win of his career when he stunned six-times champion Roger Federer 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4 in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
Federer was simply outplayed by his 24-year-old opponent, who consigned the Swiss maestro to his earliest defeat at the All England Club since 2002 and became the first Czech to reach the semi-finals since Ivan Lendl in 1990.
"It's amazing to play in this stadium, such a great player Roger is, it's amazing," said the 12th-seeded Berdych after the two hour 35 minute contest.
"Toughest game of my career to serve out, I'm very happy."
From the moment Berdych claimed the opening point with a rapier-like forehand winner the Centre Court crowd could sense a classic contest was in the offing.
He made the first breakthrough of the match in the seventh game when a Federer backhand drifted long to give the Czech a 4-3 lead. Another stray backhand from the Swiss gave Berdych the opening set after 34 minutes.
The Berdych forehand was really starting to fire but the six-times champion took an early break in the second to go 2-0 up, and Federer unleashed a mighty 'Come on!' when he levelled the match.
Berdych stepped up another gear in the third, a sumptuous half volley helping him to a break for a 2-0 lead which he celebrated with a little jig of delight.
The winners were beginning to fly off the slick Czech's racket, and another murderous backhand that dashed off the baseline gave Berdych a second break for a 5-1 lead and a service bomb wrapped up the set a game later.
Berdych showed real nerve recovering from 0-40 at 2-3 in the fourth, a deficit not helped by two double faults, and he punched his fist towards his entourage as he put away the game-winning smash.
Then came the crucial turning point, a wonderful running forehand from Berdych had Federer stretching for a volley which drifted wide and the Czech broke for a 4-3 lead, shaking his fist to his corner as he bounced backwards towards his chair.
Berdych showed signs of nerves when serving for the match, giving Federer a break point but he kept himself together, punching away a forehand and pointing to his corner in disbelief as he sealed his third career win over the Swiss.
He will play Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic for a place in Sunday's final.