Catching Up With... Tomas Berdych
by Matt Fitzgerald|
2010 was a breakout season for world No. 7 Tomas Berdych. After advancing to the semi-finals of the French Open, he then knocked out defending champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals of the Wimbeldon Championships and dominated Novak Djokovic en route to his first grand-slam final appearance.
The runner-up here in 2010, the 25 year old from the Czech Republic has reached the quarter-finals or better at three of the four majors, won five titles, including the 2005 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris, and qualified into the Barclays World Tour Finals last year for the first time.
We caught up with Berdych after he defeated Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 7-6(8), 6-3 in the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open.
Your run to the finals here last year jumpstarted a great run of results, highlighted by your first major final appearance at Wimbledon and a semi-final showing at Roland Garros. How important was this tournament and what did it do for your confidence?
TB: Of course it was definitely a key tournament for me last season. I also did well at Indian Wells. The match against Roger when I was down match -point was one of the best wins of my career. It helped my confidence for sure. But it’s not all about one match, one tournament. You have to keep playing well and believing in yourself.
What did you enjoy most about playing at Crandon Park, here in Miami?
TB: It’s a special place… very appealing. I like coming here this time of year. It’s hot, but not like the summers they get. It’s good weather for tennis. I wish I had more free time in between matches and training as there are so many things to do, but I’m always busy on the courts.
I like going to [Miami] Heat games and I’m a huge fan of the NHL. The Florida Panthers aren’t too far away, so I try and go to their games when I get the opportunity.
Can you talk about balancing a professional tennis career with your personal life? Your fiancée Lucie is also a successful tennis player. Does it help that you’re both in the same career, striving for similar goals?
TB: I would say so. It’s worked for quite a long time now. I think it can be an advantage for both of us, especially with all the requirements tennis players have, with travel, tournaments, always preparing for what’s next. It’s nice to have someone who knows what I’m feeling, particularly after a loss. She knows what I’m going through, whereas other player’s spouses and girlfriends may not understand as well. It helps that we always know what to say and do for each other.
The Last Time You...
Tried Something New: Ooh, that’s a good one. Let me think… oh, when I swam with the dolphins last week!
Had Your Luggage Lost: Wow. I don’t know. It’s been a while. Can’t remember, so that’s good, haha.
Requested Someone’s Autograph: Probably a long time ago. I’m not really a collector of autographs.
Ate Something Unhealthy: Do French fries count? Had those two days ago.
Slept In Your Own Bed: Three weeks ago for six hours. It was in between the Davis Cup and my flight to the States.
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