Novak Djokovic played his eighth Major semi-final at Wimbledon 2010, facing Tomas Berdych in a battle for the final. The 24-year-old Czech defeated Roger Federer in the quarters, and he used that momentum against Novak to score a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 triumph in two hours and 18 minutes for the first Major final.
Tomas beat Novak for the first time in three encounters, firing 34 winners and 17 unforced errors to control the pace and seal the deal in straight sets. Speaking about the encounter two months later at the US Open, Novak said he played a stupid match, defending most of the time and not using his opportunities against a rock-solid rival who played on a high level.
Berdych won 22 points more than Djokovic and saved three out of four break chances to maintain the pressure on the other side. The Serb struggled with the second serve many times that season, hitting eight double faults and experiencing three breaks to end his run in the semis.
Tomas fired 41 service winners and had the upper hand in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, taming his strokes nicely and winning the crucial points to remain on the title course. Berdych drew first blood with a break at 3-2 in the opener, using Djokovic's forehand error to forge the advantage after 21 minutes.
Novak held at 15 in game eight to prolong the set, and Tomas claimed it with a forehand winner a few minutes later for 6-3 after 33 minutes. Berdych repelled a break point in the second set's fourth game with a forehand winner and held after two deuces to keep his serve intact.
Djokovic survived a scare in the fifth game before spraying a smash error at 5-5 to fall behind. Making the wrong move for the first time, Tomas failed to serve out for the set after a forehand mistake on Novak's third break chance that introduced a tie break.
Novak Djokovic suffered a heavy loss to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon 2010.
Djokovic fell 6-2 down after a double fault and fended off all four set points to increase the drama. Berdych played against set points at 6-7 and 8-9, staying calm and seizing the sixth set point at 10-9 thanks to Novak's costly double fault.
The Serb saved a break chance at 1-2 in the third set with an ace and held with a forehand down the line winner to remain in touch. Tomas fired three consecutive aces at 3-3 and broke at 30 in the next one after Novak's back-to-back double faults.
Serving at 5-3, Berdych sealed the deal with a service winner to score another notable victory and earn a place in the first Major final. "I was too defensive and stupid on the court, without taking my chances. I have to give credit to my opponent; Berdych has played remarkably well the whole tournament. I was too passive after creating my chances, and that's why I lost the match," Novak Djokovic said.