LONDON--It had to end sometime.
For seven consecutive years, Roger Federer had played in the men's final at Wimbledon, winning six times and losing once to Rafael Nadal in what many believe was the greatest match in tennis history.
That ended today in the 2010 quarterfinals when Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, the 12th seed and a semifinalist at the French Open this year, knocked out Federer in four sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. Berdych, 2-8 lifetime against Federer going in, was nearly perfect on the day and seemed to wear down the Swiss master with his heavy, hard serve, pounding it in at speeds upwards of 220 kilometres an hour.
At 5-4 in the third set, Berdych had to serve out the match. He fought off one break point, then connected on his second match point opportunity with a scorching forehand to eliminate the six-time champion.
"It was the hardest game to serve in my life," said Berdych.
The Czech will face Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semis. Djokovic easily handled Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan, who had earlier eliminated Andy Roddick.
Federer, who won the Australian Open in January but was beaten early at Roland Garros, turns 29 in August and now faces tough questions about whether he'll be able to add to his all-time record total of 16 Grand Slam titles. He blamed leg and back injuries afterwards, unusual for him.
"Everytime he had a chance, he took it," said Federer. "When I did have chances, I played poorly."