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Jeff Cooper

Djokovic Solid, Berdych Mixed

By January 22, 2013

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Tomas Berdych showed the offensive power he's capable of against Novak Djokovic in Tuesday's quarterfinal, but as Novak prevailed 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, Tomas also showed some weaknesses.  At an exceptionally strong 6'5", Tomas can deliver unsurpassed power on his groundstrokes, but he produced only 8 winners with his forehand and only 1 with his backhand, as compared to 16 and 9, respectively, from Novak.  Novak's greatly superior defense had much to do with that winner count, but Tomas was often less aggressive than he needed to be. 

Berdych's serves, both first and second, averaged greater speeds than Djokovic's, but he landed lower percentages of his first serves and won lower percentages of his serving points, especially on the second serve, where he won only 42% to Djokovic's 63%.  From the height Tomas meets the ball, he could have a tremendous twist serve that would kick high enough above his opponent's comfort range to often draw weak returns that he could put away with the next shot.  Instead, though, Tomas hits his second serve with only slightly more kick than his topspin-slice first serve.  This lets him deliver a little more power on the second serve, but not enough to often pose nearly as much trouble as a huge kick would.

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