Novak Djokovic overcame an uncomfortable set and a half to eventually ease into the semi-finals with a straight sets defeat of Tomas Berdych.
The men’s top seed is yet to drop a set at Wimbledon 2013 and looked in good form against a Berdych, winning 7-6 6-4 6-3 against a man who had won their previous meeting on grass in the 2010 semi-finals at SW19.
The number seven seed has an impressive serve and that kept him in the first set as a tie-break was needed to separate the pair.
Djokovic was the first to suffer a mini-break but, in what became a theme throughout the match, he broke back almost immediately.
Berdych was under pressure at 5-5 and two unforced errors handed the set to Djokovic, though the Czech was playing as well as he had done so far at the All England Club.
He hit a streak of form early in the second and some terrific returning saw him break the top seed twice to lead 3-0 – you don’t become world number one if you don’t have great mental strength, however.
Going behind seemed to wake Djokovic out of his slump and he pulled the breaks back immediately with some delightful varied play, with particularly good use of the drop shot.
Understandably, Berdych’s shoulders dropped after throwing his advantage away and he could only win one further game as Djokovic got into his groove to take the set.
There was only ever going to be one winner after that and though Berdych was still serving well, the 2011 champion was there to pounce on the smallest mistakes.
Once Djokovic had claimed a break in the fourth game of the third set, the finish was a formality as he booked a semi-final spot on Friday against Juan Martin del Potro, who overcame a very nasty fall in the first game to see off fourth seed David Ferrer in straight sets.
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