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Berdych To Meet In-Form Del Potro In SFs

Madrid, Spain

del Potro© Getty ImagesJuan Martin del Potro is now 10-0 on clay (22-0 in sets) this year.

Sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych will meet No. 10 seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the Mutua Madrid Open semi-finals on Saturday.

Berdych improved to 10-4 lifetime against Rafael Nadal's conqueror, No. 15 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain, after a 6-1, 6-2 victory in 67 minutes to reach his second Madrid semi-finals (also 2006 - l. to Gonzalez).

Berdych has yet to be broken in 25 service games this week. He lost just nine of his service points and hit four aces past Verdasco for his 25th match win of the season (25-6 overall). Madrid native Verdasco has a 10-10 mark at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. He also reached the 2009 quarter-finals (l. to Nadal).

"I feel great," said Berdych. "I'm in another semi-final, [the] second in a row. To beat Fernando made me feel great. It is always tough to beat Fernando, even though the score looks quite easy. It's not easy to beat a Top 20 player and he played great yesterday [against Rafael Nadal]."

On playing del Potro, Berdych said, "I'm expecting a really tough match. To play Juan Martin is always tough, he's a great guy and he knows how to win the Grand Slams. He's definitely back after his [wrist] injury. So far this year, I have already lost to him and it would be nice to get him back now. I will try to do my best, to play my game, to be aggressive."

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Earlier in the day, del Potro maintained his run of form on clay after he defeated No. 16 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine in a 6-3, 6-4 victory in 84 minutes to advance to his fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final. He hit 10 aces, won 69 per cent of his service points and converted three of his seven break point opportunities. Brisbane International finalist Dolgopolov drops to 15-10 in 2012.

The 23-year-old Tandil native is now 10-0 on clay this year (22-0 in sets). He improved to a 31-6 match record on the season, which includes two ATP World Tour titles at the Open 13 in Marseille (d. Llodra) and at last week's Estoril Open (d. Gasquet). The former World No. 4 also finished runner-up at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (l. to Federer).

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