World No.3 David Ferrer could be fined up to $20,000 after bumping a linesman during his Australian Open quarter-final loss to Czech Tomas Berdych.
Berdych, the seventh seed, beat Ferrer 6-1 6-4 2-6 6-4 on Tuesday to reach the Open semi-finals for the first time in his career, after falling in the quarter-finals for the past three years.
Not only did the big Czech break that streak, but he also won inside Melbourne Park’s showpiece court, Rod Laver Arena, for the first time, in his 11th Australian Open.
“That’s been a very special match to me,” Berdych said.
Having lost to the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in his previous matches on that court, Berdych said it made the win all the more momentous.
“I had a couple of close ones, a couple of not. Really I didn’t get any kind of easy one to make that first match win. So today I needed to fight really hard for that,” he said.
Berdych, a former Wimbledon finalist who is chasing his first grand slam title, will face defending champion Djokovic or Swiss Stanislav Wawrinka in the final four, after completing his set of grand slam semi-final appearances at all four majors.
Ferrer, a semi-finalist in two of the previous three years, could be facing a fine.
After he broke Berdych to go 4-2 up in the third set, the Spaniard pushed a linesman out of the way to pick up his towel that was on the official’s chair.
There was no immediate penalty but, under the grand slam rules, the veteran could be fined up to $20,000, although he wasn’t expecting a sanction.
“It was nothing,” he said.
“I have the towel there. It was a nervous moment, but nothing.
“I say to him excuse me after that, nothing special.”
It had looked like Berdych would wrap up the match in straight sets with Ferrer uncharacteristically sluggish.
With the score 2-2 in the third, Berdych had two break points but couldn’t convert either.
He soon found himself trailing in the set as his play turned defensive and his error count grew.
It was the first time the 28-year-old had lost his serve in 60 games at this year’s Australian Open.
He settled in the fourth set to break Ferrer in the sixth game then hold off his gritty opponent, who had a break point in the final game.