Novak Djokovic edged a tense tie-break as he was given his toughest test at Wimbledon so far by seventh seed Tomas Berdych.
Top seed Djokovic had barely been tested before today, but he found Berdych’s power hard to handle on Centre Court in the early stages of their quarter-final clash.
The powerful seventh seed saved four break points but lost a first-set tie-break 7-5 after over an hour on court.
Watched by Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic, who was a guest for the Royal Box on Centre Court but understandably elected instead to watch his compatriot, Djokovic flew out of the blocks.
The world number one fired down two big returns to earn a pair of break points, but Berdych saw off the challenge with a couple of forehand winners.
Djokovic is used to overpowering his opponents from the back of the court, but he met his match in the big-hitting Berdych.
The Serbian often had to station himself six feet behind the baseline in order to deal with Berdych’s big returns, which sent the pre-match favourite slipping and sliding across the court.
Djokovic spurned another break point in the seventh game when he returned long and he vented his frustration by yelling and striking the net with his racket.
Berdych saved another break point with a 129mph ace. Both players broke each other twice in the tie-break, before Djokovic struck a killer blow on set point, forcing his opponent to go wide following a powerful return.