Wimbledon 2016: Andy Murray v Tomas Berdych - a not so friendly rivalry

Tomas Berdych
Tomas Berdych is a former Wimbledon finalist, losing in 2010 to Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray emerged from a titanic tussle with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for a seventh time.

With Roger Federer also coming through a five-set thriller against Marin Cilic in the last eight, many feel the Swiss legend and Murray are destined to meet for the second time in a Wimbledon final, and a fourth in Grand Slams.

But the Scot will have to overcome a difficult obstacle in the shape of Tomas Berdych - who beat Lucas Pouille of France in the last round - to reach Sunday's final.

So what do we know about Murray's opponent? BBC Scotland Sport takes a look at the world number nine from the Czech Republic.


A player renowned for his powerful service game and ferocious forehand, Berdych has amassed 12 career titles to date.

Capable of troubling even the very top players on his day, many tennis observers tipped him as a future Grand Slam champion, but at 30 he has yet to break his duck.

His record in Slams should not be dismissed, however. He has reached the last four in each of tennis' four majors, and his run to the Wimbledon final in 2010 - where he lost in straight sets to Rafael Nadal after beating Roger Federer in the quarter-finals - demonstrates just what a formidable opponent he is on grass.

Currently ranked number nine, he was as high as number four in 2015.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Wimbledon 2016: Murray through to semis after Tsonga slog

Murray v Berdych - the history

Murray has never met Berdych at Wimbledon, or indeed on grass, but there is history between the pair - on and off the court.

Their head-to-head record is 8-6 in favour of Murray, with Berdych's last win coming in the Cincinnati Masters three years ago. The Scot has won their last four meetings.

In Grand Slams the world number two leads 2-1. Murray beat Berdych in the last four of the 2012 US Open as he went on to claim his maiden Grand Slam title, but it was their semi-final meeting at the 2015 Australian Open that provoked some ill-feeling between the two camps.

With Murray's long-time hitting partner and coach Dani Vallverdu in the Czech's box after parting company with the British number one a few weeks before, tensions were high courtside.

Kim Sears
Andy Murray's partner Kim struggled to keep her emotions in check when the Scot met Berdych in the 2015 Australian Open semi-final

Murray's fiancée - now wife - Kim Sears was caught on camera apparently swearing at the Berdych team following a Murray break of serve, betraying the animosity between the two camps.

Murray blamed the media focus on Vallverdu in the build up to the match, which Murray won 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5, saying afterwards: "When there's a lot of tension surrounding something, which you (the media) created, it's completely normal that the whole first set everyone was tight."

Perhaps another source of tension is Murray's coach Ivan Lendl.

Berdych approached Lendl about becoming his coach, only to be rebuffed by his countryman before he reunited with Murray in June.

Berdych said: "I approached Ivan and he said he doesn't want to be involved in tennis. Then he comes back to Andy. So that's how it is."

Murray on Berdych

"He hits a big ball and likes to dictate, so I need to make sure I keep him on the back foot as much as possible in Friday's semi-final.

"We haven't played on grass before so I'll have a look at a couple of his matches over the last week and make a plan.

"Having a rest day on Thursday will help me recover from playing five sets and I'll be ready to go on Friday, whether I play first or second."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Wimbledon 2016: Berdych breezes into semi-finals

Berdych on Murray

"It's definitely the way I'm playing, you know, try to push him as hard as I can, being aggressive, not giving him the time to create the game.

"I think at the beginning, he was a bit more defensive, just waiting for what the opponent is going to do. I think it was working pretty well for myself. I was able to really dictate the game and play aggressive.

"Now he comes to be more aggressive, way more creative on the court. I think that's the difference with him, I would say (between) the beginning of his career and now."

Pundit's view - Ex-British number one Annabel Croft

"Definitely Berdych could cause Andy problems. He hits very hard, very flat, with a big serve.

"He's been so consistent over the last decade and I think he's going to be very, very aggressive, trying to stop Andy messing with the rhythm out there.

"I think Berdych doesn't like sliced backhands a lot. Andy will slice a lot, keep it low, make things as uncomfortable as he can for Berdych.

"Andy has the ability to get inside your psyche and break you down emotionally out on the court."

Top Stories