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Andy Murray vs. Tomas Berdych
This should be a fun match for a few reasons. First, Berdych lost a match 6-0, 6-0 to David Goffin at Rome in May. In less than 2 months, Berdych has rebounded by reaching the quarterfinal round at Roland Garros and has reached a semifinal at Wimbledon. Could Berdych reach his second career Wimbledon final less than 2 months after being humiliated and parting ways with his coaching team? That would be a great story.
Andy Murray’s historic successes and numerous near misses are a big part of tennis in the UK. Murray could reach his 3rd Wimbledon singles final and 11th major final with a win over Berdych. Such a win would give Murray a shot at adding to his already impressive Wimbledon, US Open, Olympic, and Davis Cup successes. Beyond this match impacting Murray’s historical positioning, an Andy Murray vs. Tomas Berdych match might lead fireworks from Andy Murray’s wife. In 2015, Kim Sears let loose a tirade aimed at Tomas Berdych. I don’t really care about this sort of stuff, but it is noteworthy.
What to Expect
These two know each other’s games well. Berdych plays great first strike tennis. He tries to take control of a point off of his serve or his return and dictate play. So long as Berdych is hitting his spots, he can dominate most players on tour. Berdych enjoys a power advantage and will need to impose his will with big serves. Andy Murray has one of the best returns in all of tennis. He scrambles and counter-punches well. If Berdych’s power is not stinging enough to control points, Murray will likely shift the balance in his favor. If Murray can steal enough points when Berdych is normally dictating play and put Berdych on the defensive fairly often, Berdych will be in trouble.
I think Berdych is playing with a lot of confidence and purpose. This bodes well for the big Czech, but it likely won’t help him enough. I think Berdych will dictate play at a high level in the first two sets, but by the end of the match Murray will have eroded Berdych’s court positioning enough to prevent this. Given how well Murray defends he will likely split the first two sets with Berdych (unless Berdych serves out of his mind). From there, Murray will win the 3rd and 4th sets.
Andy Murray d. Tomas Berdych 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
Confidence in my prediction – moderately high