Berdych shocks Nadal in Melbourne

January 27, 2015
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Rafael Nadal suffered a straight sets quarter-final defeat to Tomas Berdych at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Berdych had not beaten Nadal for nine years and ended a 17-match losing streak against the Spaniard with a dominant display in Melbourne, avoiding an 18th defeat which would have been a new record in men's tennis.

The Czech completely outplayed Nadal in the opening two sets as he raced into a 2-0 lead but the third seed did muster a fight back in the third before losing the set and the match on a tie break as Berdych completed a 6-2 6-0 7-6 (7-5) win.

The seventh seed will face either Andy Murray or Nick Kyrgios in the last four and Berdych was delighted with his victory.

"It feels great," said Berdych. "The really good thing is the plan that we put together was the right one.

"Everything was working. I was able to execute it really well. But still, until the last point you can't think about anything else.

"When it's done, it's done. It's great. I might be think about it and enjoy the time until tomorrow morning. When I wake up, I need to get myself ready for another one. There is a still long way to go in this tournament and I need to be ready for it."

Nadal was playing in just his 12th match since Wimbledon last summer and his first against a top 10 opponent since his French Open final victory over Novak Djokovic, having struggled with various injuries over the course of 2014.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion and refused to blame any fitness issues on his loss however, and believes a last eight spot in Melbourne is not a bad result as he bids to return to the top level in 2015.

"Without being at my top level of tennis I was able to be here in the quarter-finals," said the 2009 Australian Open champion.

"It's not a bad result at all for me arriving here the way I arrived: only with one match [in 2015], only with five matches in seven months."

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