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Tomas Berdych reaches his 11th Australian Open fourth round on Friday.

Mr. Consistent: Berdych Through To Fourth Round

Czech could face Rafa in round of 16

The usual suspects – Federer, Nadal, Djokovic – and the next wave of ATP Tour talent – Zverev, Tsitsipas, Shapovalov – have been stealing the homepage slots. But quietly and confidently, Tomas Berdych is – again – powering his way through the Australian Open draw.

The 33-year-old Czech advanced to the fourth round in Melbourne for the 11th time on Friday, coming back from a set down against Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. Berdych finally lost his serve, in the 11th game of the first set, after holding 32 consecutive times to start the tournament.

“It’s a good feeling to have won and put up a bit of a fight,” said Berdych. “He was a tough challenge and opponent, so I needed to adjust. I’m happy that my preparations over the past month and half are paying off."

Most Australian Open fourth-round appearances

Player  Round of 16 showings
Roger Federer 17
Rafael Nadal 
Novak Djokovic 
Tomas Berdych
Stefan Edberg 11
Ivan Lendl 10
Andy Murray 10

But he never lost it again, erasing seven of eight break points against the 18th-seeded Schwartzman, who was trying to reach the fourth round for the second consecutive year in Australia.

The 6'5” Czech missed the last five months of the 2018 season because of back pain, but he's looked agile and all the smarter for taking the time off. The former World No. 4 will face second seed Rafael Nadal, who beat Australia's #NextGenATP star Alex de Minaur.

“To play Rafa, or any of the great guys, is a special day in tennis," said Berdych. "That’s why I’m here and the experience is priceless.”

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