>> Saturday, May 12, 2012
In a clay court event where it was expected for the two top ranked players in the world to meet in the finals, it is a different set of finalists that emerged, but an interesting match-up just the same. World no. 3 Roger Federer and world no. 7 Tomas Berdych both won straight set semi-final victories, albeit in contrasting fashions, to advance to the championship match. Watch the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open men's singles finals live online here between Federer and Berdych.
Berdych reached his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final by overcoming an in-form Juan Martin del Potro 7-6(5), 7-6(6) in the first semi-final of the Madrid tennis tournament. Del Potro was riding a 10-match winning streak on clay this year which included defending his title at Estoril last Sunday. With the win, Berdych improved his record against the Argentine to two wins against three losses. The Czech Republic's no. 1 player advances to his second final of the year and will be aiming to capture his eighth ATP title. He earlier won his seventh title with a victory over Gael Monfils in the Montpellier tennis tournament last February.
Berdych's quote after beating Del Potro: "I am definitely very happy with the game I played here since the beginning of the week... It doesn’t matter that much if you drop a set or not, it's just how it is. Sometimes you can fight through the whole tournament and then get to the final as well... I definitely felt that [del Potro] was going to be the toughest one so far in the tournament, that was for sure. As I started I already had the feeling that he is going to be right and that it was going to be a tough game. I was confident to go for the match; I believed in myself and that I could do it."
As for Federer, he will be playing for a return to the world no. 2 ranking in Sunday's championship match if he wins. He defeated the conqueror of the top ranked player in Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-3 in the semi-finals on Saturday. With the win, the Swiss extended his record career prize money earnings past the $70 million mark. He is also aiming to tie Rafael Nadal's record of 20 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, a record Nadal achieved by winning the Monte-Carlo tennis tournament last month. Federer has a 10-4 career lead over Berdych and has won both their meetings on clay.
Federer's quote after reaching the finals: "I didn't even know about the number two ranking so that's new to me... I'm focused on what I'm doing here this week, trying to play well and get far. I have been feeling better and better as the tournament went on. It's tough conditions today. There was a lot of wind and so forth... It's going to be a tough match. Berdych is playing well himself... It's quick conditions and he can be a big threat in the finals like that. I expect quick points and big shots from both sides. I hope I can play a big match on my serve and take it from there. I think that we match up pretty well against each other because of the shot making."
Don't forget to watch the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open men's singles finals live online featuring Federer vs Berdych.