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Berdych looking to the past as he aims for second SW19 decider

By Eleanor Crooks

Tomas Berdych cruised into the Wimbledon semi-finals as the Czech 10th seed crushed France's Lucas Pouille 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-2 yesterday.

Berdych is one win away from reaching his second Grand Slam final six years after losing to Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon decider, but will come up against home favourite Andy Murray after the Scot beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Berdych, the World No.9, is the third Czech man to reach multiple Wimbledon semi-finals after Ivan Lendl and Jan Kodes.

He has now made it to six Grand Slam semi-finals, losing in four of his previous five appearances.

"On paper it looks pretty easy, but really I had to work hard," Berdych said. "I had to find my rhythm and when I did in the first set tie-break I felt much better. After that it was more straightforward.

"I hoped one day I would have the chance to use the experience from my Wimbledon final and I'm going to go for it."

Berdych was playing in his 15th Grand Slam quarter-final, while Pouille had reached the last eight of a Major for the first time and the gulf in experience and class became apparent.

Having seen off young guns Alexander Zverev and Jiri Vesely in the previous two rounds to reach his third successive Grand Slam quarter-final, Berdych was in fine form.

After an early exchange of breaks, Pouille called for a treatment on a finger on his right hand at 3-4 in the first set.

The 22-year-old held on to force a tie-break, but Berdych played the big points flawlessly to take a lead that quickly became two sets to love.

An early break in the third set was all the incentive Berdych needed to seal his progress.

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