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Berdych Dismisses Almagro To Set Federer QF

New York, U.S.A.

Berdych© Getty ImagesTomas Berdych reached the US Open quarter-finals for the first time.

World No. 7 Tomas Berdych reached the quarter-finals at the US Open for the first time on Monday as he finished strongly to dismiss Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1. The Czech will face top seed Roger Federer in the last eight after the Swiss advanced to his 38th Grand Slam quarter-final when Mardy Fish was forced to withdraw prior to their match with a health concern.

"I am really sorry for Mardy," said Federer. "I just want to wish him a speedy recovery. We all want to see him back on tour soon.

"It will be a tough match against Tomas. We have played many times in the past and he has always been a tough opponent. I will have to continue to serve well and dictate the points."

"He has been playing some incredible tennis again," said Berdych of Federer. "He won another Grand Slam, become No. 1 again, so probably there is no better player at all to play right now. When I saw the draw in the beginning, I was like, 'Yeah, that would be the goal to get into play a match with Roger.' I'm there, so I will try to do my best. We will see."

In his 10th meeting with the 11th-seeded Almagro, Berdych edged the first set in a tie-break before claiming the first break of serve in the seventh game of the second set. From there, the Czech dominated, winning eight of the next 10 games to claim victory in two hours.

"I think the key was the first set, which was really close, especially the tie-break was decided in one or two points," said Berdych. "I was the one who made it, and then I started even better in the second set when I get my chance for the break."

The 26-year-old Berdych captured his 200th hard-court victory as he became the third Czech man in the Open Era to reach the quarter-finals at each major, joining Petr Korda and Ivan Lendl. At Wimbledon two years ago, he went onto reach the final, finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal.

After mixed results over the summer, Berdych found his form the week leading into Flushing Meadows, reaching the final of the Winston-Salem Open (l. to Isner). Earlier in the year the right-hander had won the Open Sud de France title in Montpellier (d. Monfils) and reached the final at the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Federer).

Berdych will look to overturn a 4-11 record against the 31-year-old Federer. The Swiss is chasing a sixth title in New York and has not dropped a set in his three matches so far.

The 30-year-old Fish had been set to contest the US Open last 16 for the fourth time. In a statement, the American said, "I regret that I have to withdraw from the US Open for precautionary measures. I was reluctant to do so, but am following medical advisement. I had a good summer and look forward to resuming my tournament schedule in the fall."

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