Although I picked Federer to win the match, the Swiss Master did not play his best tennis, getting broken in his first service game of both the second and third sets. After leading Berdych 3-1 in the first set, Federer's level dropped and Berdych's rose to break back and force a first set tiebreaker where his accurate, powerful play continued to win a the tiebreak by a lopsided score. The match seemed over in the 3rd set when Berdych had 0-40 on Federer's serve already up a break 3-2. Federer managed to save his serve and rattled off a string of 4 games to seize the set but Berdych kept his cool and continued serving bombs and held his serve early in the fourth to stem Federer's momentum.
With this loss, Federer will not reach the semifinals or better at the US Open for the first time since 2003. He was aiming for his 23rd major semifinal. Berdych will be playing in the 3rd of his career, his first since reaching the 2010 Wimbledon final (where he also beat Federer in the quarters). Berdych improved to 5 wins and 11 losses in his career against Federer, who will retain the World #1 ranking even if Novak Djokovic defends his 2011 US Open title.
Berdych will face Andy Murray in the men's semifinal on Saturday (weather permitting) after the Scot came back from a set and 1-5 down against the Croat player to win 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2 6-0.