May 12, 2012
Federer, Berdych advance to Madrid final
By SPORTS NETWORK
MADRID, SPAIN - Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych were winners Saturday in the semifinals at the Madrid Open and will meet for the title of the French Open tuneup on Sunday.
The sixth-seeded Berdych fought through a pair of tiebreakers in the first match of the day and claimed a 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6) triumph over Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro, before the third-seeded Federer disposed of Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic in a 6-2, 6-3 rout.
Tipsarevic denied a blockbuster semifinal matchup when he eliminated countrymate Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals on Friday. Federer then made short work of Tipsarevic on Saturday, winning in a mere 67 minutes to improve to 5-0 in the all-time series.
Federer, who will eclipse the $70 million mark in career earnings after Sunday's final, would overtake Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal for No. 2 in the world with a win on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Swiss native has already won three titles in 2012, earning the crowns in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells. He will try for his 74th career title on Sunday and his third in Madrid, having won at the Magic Box in 2006 and again in 2009. In addition, he was the Madrid runner-up in 2007 and 2010.
A win Sunday would also give Federer 20 career Masters titles, tying him with Nadal for the most all-time. Nadal reached the plateau last month at Monte Carlo.
The sixth-seeded Berdych will try for his eighth career title and second of 2012. He beat Gael Monfils for the Montpellier crown back in February and had been a semifinal loser twice since that triumph. One of those losses came against del Potro in Rotterdam. He also lost to Djokovic in the Monte Carlo semifinals last month.
Del Potro, who went on to lose to Federer in the Rotterdam finale, was trying for his third title of 2012. He won at Marseille in February and again at Estoril just last week. Saturday's setback snapped a 10-match winning streak.
Federer owns a 10-4 mark against Berdych, including wins in both of their clay meetings -- 2005 in Hamburg and 2006 at the French Open. However, two of Berdych's biggest career wins came against Federer. He won the first-ever meeting between the two at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and stunned the 16-time Grand Slam champ six years later in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Sunday's winner will earn $770,000.