Berdych knocks out Nadal in Aussie Open, Sharapova in semis

Berdych knocks out Nadal in Aussie Open, Sharapova in semis

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 6:57 am

Rafael Nadal: stunned by Berdych

Rafael Nadal: stunned by Berdych

Tomas Berdych stunned Rafael Nadal in the Australian quarter final match today, knocking him out in three straight sets: 6-2, 6-0, 7-6.

The match which lasted two hours, 13 minutes, saw Nadal committing 6 double faults and recording 24 winners to Berdych’s 46 winners.

Earlier, Russian second seed Maria Sharapova thrashed Canadian rising star, Eugenie Bouchard, 6-3, 6-2, to set up an all-Russian semi-final clash with Ekaterina Makarova.

It was Sharapova’s seventh Australian Open semi-final feat.

Sharapova, 27, won the Australian title in 2008 and can seize the world number one ranking off arch-rival Serena Williams if she repeats the feat this year.

She took her career record to 4-0 against Bouchard — a 20-year-old rising star who has been repeatedly compared to the Russian veteran — including another Grand semi-final win at the French Open last year.

For Bouchard, it was a second semi-final defeat at Melbourne Park.

“I just tried to keep my ground, I knew she was going to go at it and be aggressive,” Sharapova said.

She drew first blood with a break in the opening game as Bouchard fired a backhand wide, with the Russian going on to easily hold serve.

Bouchard, playing against her childhood idol, looked nervous and was in danger of conceding another break when she double faulted in the fifth game before steadying and forcing a mistake from Sharapova.

The Canadian went into the match vowing to play her shots and was true to her word, putting the pressure on with two break points in the next, only to overcook her backhand both times and send both chances long.

Sharapova’s composure never wavered and she brought up two set points on Bouchard’s serve at 5-3, hitting the first in the net but clinching the second when the Canadian’s attempt to go down the line went wide.

Bouchard’s error rate continued to climb as she went for big winners in the second set and Sharapova seized a decisive break in the fourth game.

The world number seven never recovered, burying her head in her hands at the changeover before her misery ended when she went down another break after one hour 17 minutes.

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