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By Robert Martin
Photo Credit: Mark Peterson / Corleve

(January 22, 2012) While the world was focused on the meeting of Bernard Tomic and World No. 3 Roger Federer at the Australian Open, the drama on day 7 came from the overlooked match between No. 7 Tomas Berdych and No. 10 Nicolas Almagro. Four sets and nearly four hours of play were overshadowed by one point that could not prevent Berdych from ending in front with a 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2) victory.

It is not often that a player hits 54 winners to 41 errors and loses, but that is exactly what happened to Almagro. The aggressive Spaniard happened to match up against Berdych, who did even better, striking 70 winners to the same number of errors.

Despite the high quality of play between the two, the contest is likely to be remembered for one point near the end of the fourth set. As Berdych headed to the net, Almagro was given a perfect opportunity to rip a ground stroke passing shot, which he went for cross court and nailed Berdych near the right elbow.

As is customary, Almagro held up his hand in apology, but it did not seem to help as Berdych was furious with the play. After finishing the match with a service winner, Berdych refused to shake Almagro’s hand, stirring the crowd to express their opinion on the matter.

Regardless of the incident, and lack of tennis etiquette, Berdych is through to the quarterfinal, where he will meet
Rafael Nadal who ripped through an error-prone Feliciano Lopez. Despite hitting only 20 winners, Nadal walked away with an easy 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory thanks to 52 errors from his fellow Spaniard.

One of the most surprisingly entries into the round of 16,
Philipp Kohlschreiber was rudely reintroduced to the ground after Juan Martin del Potro
deflated his soaring confidence in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 win. The German struggled on his serve, hitting only 55 percent of first serves while he watched his second serve get bludgeoned around the court by the 6 foot 6 inch Argentine who won 53 percent of points on return, including 77 percent on second serves.

What was supposed to be the premier match of the day between Federer and Tomic turned out to look more like a clinic was being offered by the Swiss on Rod Laver Arena. Tomic held tough in the first set, keeping it close until late in the first set when Federer broke.

With the first set in hand, Federer continued to race ahead while Tomic struggled to find answers to Federer, who hit more than three times the amount of winners with 45. With the win, Federer moved ahead to set up the quarterfinal clash with del Potro, a man that he has beaten seven times in nine matches, including a 3-1 mark in the grand slam events.


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