Djokovic battles past Berdych

The top seed raced through the opening set, but let his usual high standards slip as Berdych levelled and eventually came through a closely fought decider to secure another showdown with Roger Federer in the final.??

After just a handful of points, the world No 1 began to make inroads into Berdych???s serve and gained his first break with a well marshalled back court rally.

The Czech soon wore a bemused expression as Djokovic racked up answered games with his searing ground strokes and would be broken twice more as the 27-year-old strolled through the first set.

Facing a humbling defeat, Berdych???s fate appeared to be sealed when he was broken again in the second, but errors were creeping into Djokovic???s game and he surrendered his own serve with a forehand into the net.

Suddenly, Berdych had fresh hope and forced yet more mistakes from Djokovic, with an overhit backhand gifting him another break and a 5-3 lead.

The Serb???s nerve has been steadfast at key moments and a dipping return forced his opponent to dump a backhand into the net for another break in a see-saw encounter.

But Berdych also had an appetite for battle and seized on slack serving to gain two set points, taking the second after Djokovic???s wayward backhand. ??

Both men protected their service games with renewed determination in the deciding set, although Berdych was the first to slip-up, sending a backhand beyond the baseline.

Still, Berdych refused to wilt and Djokovic stubbornly fended off a string of break points for a 4-2 lead before he finally ended his opponent’s resistance with his second match point.

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