Men’s Semifinal:  Tomas Berdych (CZE) vs.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
Tsonga has decided to put in the work and the consistent focus necessary to maximize his potential and the result is the rejuvenation of his career. He had not beaten Marin Cilic since 2011 and had a dismal record against the Croat (1:5), but yesterday he defied the odds to beat him in straight sets. Today he did the same against another tough opponent. He was 3:8 against Berdych and had not beaten him since 2015 (on clay) and 2013 (on hard). Today’s match started off with Berdych looking like he was about to continue his dominance of the Frenchman, when unexpectedly Berdych lost his way and the wheels came off.
Berdych lost this match because he played it in his head instead of in the moment on the court. Caught up in thoughts about the fact that he should win this match, he was unprepared for the reality that Tsonga had changed his plan of attack and was actually winning the match. Berdych seemed baffled by the fact that he was making so many forehand errors and looked at his racquet in utter confusion. It was not the racquet’s fault; it was Berdych’s lack of mental clarity that caused the errors.
It is alarming that he struggled so much to find his game, when he should have been brimming with confidence knowing that he had a winning record against Tsonga and had beaten him the last two times they met. Yet, it was apparent that he was unable to recover any real belief that he could beat Tsonga today after losing the first set. Sadly, without belief it was only a matter of time before Tsonga took the 6-3, 6-4 victory.
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