No. 12 Tomas Berdych survived a huge test in the final game of the match, but hung on to hold serve and close out the biggest win of his career, a four-set upset of No. 1 Roger Federer on Centre Court at Wimbledon, by the score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
The final game didn’t start promisingly for Berdych. Federer quickly went up 15-30 with a perfect backhand passing shot up the line.
Berdych responded well, leveling the game at 30-30 with a forehand volley winner to close out a long rally.
An unreturnable serve to Federer’s forehand on the next gave Berdych his first match point at 40-30.
But a steely Federer chipped and charged off a Berdych second serve, putting the lumbering Czech on the defensive and saving match point with a backhand volley to force deuce.
Federer appeared ready to crack Berdych’s notoriously fragile nerves shortly thereafter, forcing a break point with a cross-court forehand blast that Berdych slipped in attempting to return, remaining on the ground for a while after melodramatically.
But Berdych survived the scare, striking a huge second serve deep in the box break point which Federer could only put back into the net.
Federer’s next return at deuce went long, giving Berdych his second match point.
And on that second match point, Berdych finished the deed. He hit a huge first serve into Federer’s body, jamming him into a short return which Berdych pounded for an up the line forehand winner to seal the victory.
As he walked off court, Federer saluted the Wimbledon crowd and was cheered emphatically in departure, the earliest this crowd has seen the six-time champion exit the draw in eight years. The loss broke Federer’s streak of seven straight appearances in the Wimbledon final.
It is Federer’s second consecutive loss at a grand slam before the semifinals of a major, after previously making 23 straight (though with a glass half-full perspective, he still has made an incredible 25 straight grand slam quarterfinals).
The loss also breaks Federer’s streak of seven straight appearances in the Wimbledon final.