Three thoughts on men's semifinals
WIMBLEDON, England -- Three thoughts after the men's semifinals at the All England Club on Friday:
"I would guess it was a difference of maybe five or six points in the match," Murray said with a sigh after Nadal's 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory. "He just played better than me."
As if the rest of the field needed to be further dispirited, Nadal has become a terrific grass-court player, volleying with aplomb, skidding the ball off the worn backcourt and gliding around. Remember, too, that he missed last year's Wimbledon, so the 2008 champion has now won 13 straight matches here. Just a command performance Friday.
Until like last year's semifinal loss, Murray can't be too disappointed. He served well, moved well and engaged Nadal in some of the most creative, clever rallies you'll ever see on a tennis court. He simply lost to the better player. Whether the tabloids and blokes on the telly and other generators of hype get this, well, that's another matter.
Djokovic came up with another strangely empty performance in a big match -- double-faulting to give Berdych the second-set tiebreaker and again to fall behind 3-5 in the third, along with playing defensively when he had no reason to -- but a stronger effort might not have mattered much, as Berdych simply hit through him.
"I was kind of waiting for him to make a mistake," Djokovic said. "I was wrong."
The conventional wisdom says Berdych will finally come down, playing in his first major final. Then again, what exactly about this tournament has been conventional?