Berdych ends Federer's Wimbledon reign
Crisp-hitting Czech Tomas Berdych claimed the biggest win of his career on Wednesday when he stunned six-times champion Roger Federer 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
Federer was simply outplayed by his 24-year-old opponent, who consigned the Swiss maestro to his earliest defeat at the All England Club since 2002 and became the first Czech to reach the semi-finals since Ivan Lendl in 1990.
"It's amazing to play in this stadium, such a great player Roger is, it's amazing," said the 12th-seeded Berdych after the two hour 35 minute contest.
"Toughest game of my career to serve out, I'm very happy."
Image: Tomas Berdych celebrates after beating Roger Federer
'I didn't come up with the good stuff when I had to'
Struggling for the fluency and finesse that has marked his reign at the All England Club, Federer crumbled in four sets to Czech Berdych, and Sunday's final, the first without the Swiss since 2002, will have a surreal feel to it.
"I was just not able to defend well enough and I didn't come up with the good stuff when I had to. It was disappointing," Federer said.
His defeat in the last eight at Roland Garros earlier this month halted a run of 23 consecutive semi-finals in the majors, and his loss here was his first before the final since 2002.
"Quarters is a decent result. Obviously people think quarters is shocking, but people would die to play in the quarter-final stages of Grand Slam play.
"It's not something I'm used to doing, losing in quarter-finals, it's not something I've done in the last six years. I was struggling with my own game and with my physique.
"I'm looking forward to a rest."
Image: Roger Federer
Nadal tames Soderling
World number one Rafael Nadal overcame a slow start to tame Swede Robin Soderling 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 and reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon.
Spaniard Nadal, who also saw off Soderling's challenge in the French Open final earlier this month, squandered his first match point before sealing victory with a trademark rasping forehand down the line.
The former champion, who missed last year's Wimbledon with knee problems, will face either Britain's Andy Murray or Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semis.
"I started so, so but Soderling was playing very long and powerful," second seed Nadal told reporters.
"I had some problems at the start of the second set with the break point, I play it well and after that I think the match changed a lot."
Image: Rafael Nadal
'There is no one favourite for the tournament'
After six-times champion Federer's shock defeat against Berdych, Nadal will now be favourite to take the title -- even if he did not say so himself.
"Roger did amazing the seven years, he was unbelievable. One day you have to lose and Berdych is a very difficult opponent... I just wish the best for Roger for the rest of the season," Rafa said.
"But in my opinion there is no one favourite for the tournament."
Image: Rafael Nadal's girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello
Murray ousts Tsonga to reach semis
Britain's Andy Murray punished Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for one crucial error of judgement to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second consecutive year.
Fourth seed Murray eventually raced to a 6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory but the first half of the match was a tense affair for the Scot who will face Rafael Nadal in the last four on Friday.
Frenchman Tsonga, the 10th seed, left Murray's dipping return which landed on the line at 5-5 in the second tiebreak and allowed him to go on and take the set.
After that, Murray did not look back and took the match with a ferocious crosscourt forehand.
Image: Andy Murray
'I am ready mentally and physically'
An inspired Novak Djokovic eased into his second Wimbledon semi-final, comfortably outclassing Taiwanese giant-killer Lu Yen-hsun 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
In peak form, Djokovic cannot wait for the chance to take on Berdych who created the shock of the tournament by knocking out Federer.
"If I perform as well as I did today, I think I have a good chance," said the 23-year-old Serb, oozing confidence.
"I would give everything to play finals at Wimbledon," the number three seed said. But he was quick to say: "All credit to Berdych, he played a good match."
Djokovic, who in his only other Wimbledon semi-final against Nadal in 2007 had to retire with a foot injury.
"It was a much different situation back then. I was less experienced but yet I wasn't as fit as I am today... This time I am ready mentally and physically."
"I sincerely hope to continue with this level of my game," said Djokovic, now firing on all cylinders at just the right time.
Image: Novak Djokovic