Melbourne: Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych was booed off Hisense Arena on Sunday after a bad tempered fourth-round victory over Nicolas Almagro at the Australian Open.
Berdych refused to shake hands with the Spaniard after he won the match 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 to set up a quarter-final with Rafa Nadal, because he felt the 10th-seeded Almagro had deliberately blasted a return at his head during the fourth set.
The ball rebounded off Berdych`s arm and over the net which Amalgro put away for the point, and while the Spaniard apologized immediately, the Czech was still incensed at the conclusion of the three hour, 54 minute match.
Berdych`s courtside interview was drowned out by the crowd booing and hissing, while tennis coach Brad Gilbert said he was appalled at the Czech`s decision.
"Really poor of the Birdman not to shake hands with Nico," Gilbert wrote on his Twitter page.
"He was way wrong... I am stunned with Tomas."
Nothing had really separated the pair as they hammered away for the match with the only difference in the tiebreaks when Berdych won the crucial points.
Such was the tightness of the match, Berdych won a total of 161 points, compared to Almagro`s 145 while Almagro actually converted two break opportunities to Berdych`s one.
First Published: Sunday, January 22, 2012, 15:40