Tomas Berdych made his second consecutive Wimbledon semifinal on Wednesday, though it was certainly not the way he would have wanted as his opponent, second seed Novak Djokovic, was forced to retire when a set and a break down out on Court One.
The early exchanges of the match had been competitive, with Berdych striking the ball better than many had expected against an opponent he had lost to 25 times in 27 meetings, though it became clear that Djokovic was struggling with his right elbow and the former world number one eventually retired when the 11th seed was leading 7-6(2), 2-0.
Djokovic’s retirement today means that, despite his own loss, Andy Murray will remain world number one after the tournament. Berdych, who is into his third semifinal at the All England Club, will face Roger Federer in the last four.
Berdych through as Djokovic is forced to call it a day
Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon champion, had struggled with his right elbow in recent weeks and there were concerns after he was forced to play his fourth round match against Adrian Mannarino on Tuesday that he would struggle today; those fears proved to be true.
The first set was fairly uneventful, with both men having simple service holds right up until the end, where Berdych came through a deuce game to take it to a tiebreak. However, it was obvious that Djokovic was struggling physically as the tiebreak began, and Berdych conceded just two points as he dominantly took the first set.
Berdych, a former finalist at this tournament, came out firing at the beginning of the second set, holding to love and then breaking down Djokovic’s resistance to immediately go a break up. However, just one point into the 11th seed’s next service game, the second seed, unfortunately, had to call it a day.