Rafael Nadal defeats Tomas Berdych to reach finals in Cincinnati

Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in the semifinals to reach the final at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, 7-5, 7-6(4). His opponent in the final is American John Isner. This is the first final in Cincinnati for both players.

The first set was even, with neither player breaking until penultimate game, when Rafa broke Berdych and took the next service game to win the set. Rafa’s serve was on fire today, and he capped off three service games in a row with an ace. The second set was slower, with Berdych breaking to take an early lead. Rafa broke back to even it out, taking the set into a tiebreaker and winning it 7-6(4).

“It’s just amazing being in another final here. I don’t know if it’s the best I’ve felt on a hard court, but I am trying to be closer to the baseline, to give myself the best chance. Last week in Montreal too I played a couple of great matches, and I have adapted well again here. Last week the ball was so quick in Montreal. If I can’t put balls inside, my game is not working well. I need to attack.”

“I never dreamed about that [recovering so well]. It was not easy for me, or my team and family”, Rafa said.

Good luck in the finals, Rafa!

Photos: AP Photo/David Kohl, REUTERS/John Sommers II, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America

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