Marathon Man Novak Czechs In For Quarters

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Novak Djokovic has an 11-1 career record against Tomas Berdych. Image courtesy of
Novak Djokovic continues to astound the tennis world, pulling out all the stops to produce an amazing five-set win over a gallant Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday night. Anyone who doubts his ironman capabilities need only look at his 2012 record to see how well he backs up from matches that go the distance.

At last year’s Australian Open, the Serb rebounded from a marathon five-setter against Andy Murray in a semi-final which lasted a touch under five hours, to defeat Rafael Nadal in the decider in a 353-minute epic. Then at Roland Garros later in the year, he outlasted Andreas Seppi in the round of 16 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarters - both in five sets - and was fresh enough to dish out a straight sets demolition job on Roger Federer in the semis.

His quarter-final opponent on Tuesday night, Tomas Berdych , has barely broken in to a sweat in winning his opening four without dropping a set . He was pushed in a long tie-break by Sydney International runner-up Kevin Anderson in the final set of his third round clash, but the fact he was able to dispose of an in-form player so easily speaks volumes about how well the Czech star is playing. He has reached the last eight in the first Slam of the year the past two years, but faces a mammoth job in going one further in 2013.

Djokovic holds an 11-1 head-to-head record advantage over the fifth seed, and has won all ten matches they have played on hardcourt. Berdych’s only victory came at the All England Club in 2010, but in the past two-and-a-half years he has failed to build on winning the first set against Djokovic on four occasions. The world number one won their only previous meeting at Melbourne Park with a resounding 6-1 7-6 6-1 victory at this same stage in 2011.

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