Berdych beats Ferrer to dump out Djokovic
Tomas Berdych staged a remarkable fightback to beat David Ferrer and send world No. 1 Novak Djokovic crashing out of the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The seventh seed bounced back from a set and a break down to claim top spot in Group A with a 3-6 7-5 6-1 victory to set up a semi-final clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Ferrer must face red-hot favourite Roger Federer on Saturday.
With Djokovic falling to fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic earlier on Friday, the world No. 1 was left hoping Ferrer could do him a favour with victory over Berdych.
But despite being a set and a break up, the Spaniard suffered a complete capitulation as Berdych won seven straight games to streak towards a memorable victory.
Having beaten Andy Murray and Djokovic in his opening two round robin matches, Ferrer was high on confidence, and the Spaniard was rewarded for his diligent play to grab a break in the eighth game before coolly serving out to love, sealing the set with a smash.
A big opening service game from Berdych kept Ferrer at bay, but the Spaniard's persistence paid off and a stunning backhand down the line grabbed the break. But Berdych, who forced Djokovic to save a match point in their opening Group A match, broke straight back to keep himself in the contest.
When Ferrer broke for a second time, it looked like Berdych would be heading out of the competition. The Spaniard was looking comfortable, dictating much of the play, but a couple of unforced errors allowed Berdych back in.
The Czech held firm to twice force Ferrer to serve to stay in the set, and where once Ferrer was happy to sit back and allow his opponent to make the mistakes, the errors began to creep into his game, and when he fired a forehand long, Berdych kept his hopes of a semi-final berth alive with an unlikely third set.
From then on in, it was one way traffic, as Berdych's power proved too great for Ferrer, the Czech storming to a 5-0 advantage. Ferrer held serve to force Berdych to serve out for the match, and the world No. 7 showed no signs of nerves as he clinched the victory with an emphatic volley.
By winning the group, Berdych will avoid the unbeaten Federer, while Ferrer faces the Swiss, who he has never beaten in 11 previous encounters. He must also play on Saturday afternoon, while Berdych has the advantage of a few extra hours to recover, as he plays Tsonga in the evening session.