Tomas Berdych a.k.a. The Birdman - A Fan Site 2004-2017
Berdych's coach Tomas Krupa
Archive Photo: Tomas Krupa and Tomas Berdych Australian Open 2009
Berdych credits coach
Sportal July 4, 2010
Tomas Berdych has revealed the secret to his Wimbledon success - a coach who spends more time with him than with his own wife.
If Berdych wins his first grand slam title he will give most of the credit to Tomas Krupa, whose coaching services he enlisted 18 months ago.
The 24-year-old Czech, who plays Rafael Nadal, is in the richest form of his career and traces his remarkable improvement back to his decision to turn to Krupa.
The pair have become almost inseparable and Berdych admits Krupa's influence has been a major factor in his ability to make the big breakthrough.
"It's a lot of things," he said. "I'm stronger mentally and winning more matches gives you a lot of confidence and, of course, I'm growing up."
"But it's also part of the work of my coaches. I changed my coach in the season before this year."
"The first year was about finding out how it's going to work and everything and this one started pretty well."
"I think he just finds out the weak parts of my game and he just sees it maybe from the other point of view and finds out what can be done better."
Krupa spent seven years coaching Berdych's Davis Cup team-mate Radek Stepanek before linking up with the world number 13, and the pair have become close friends.
"I spend more time with Tomas than with my wife," Krupa said recently. "It would not work if we do not have sympathies with each other."
"I would not be able to do my work without it. It is not my style. We have to understand each other."
Berdych, who has the chance to become the first Czech winner of the men's singles since Jan Kodes triumphed in the strike-hit tournament of 1973, has lost his last six matches against Nadal, including a straight-sets loss in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2007.
But he kick-started his career in March in Miami, where he beat three top-10 players in a row including Federer, and his big breakthrough came in the French Open last month when he reached his first grand slam semi-final.
Having slain Federer and new world number two Novak Djokovic in his last two matches, the giant-killer has now trained his sling-shot on 2008 champion Nadal, who was in awesome form against Andy Murray in their last-four clash.
"I have every reason to believe I have a chance," Berdych said. "I have won so many matches and beaten some really great players here so that gives me the confidence to go and bring it to the final."
"Of course, it's a big match but I would say it's similar in experience to the semis of the French Open."
"I learned a lot from that match and I hope I can really just produce it here in the final."
"I will try to really concentrate on my game and not think about the occasion."
Berdych plays down the fairytale aspect of his run to his first grand slam final and says he will draw encouragement from his previous head-to-head clashes with Nadal.
"At least I beat him three times," Berdych said. "Other guys have an even worse record against him. I can find some positive things from those matches and I will try to get the fourth win here."
"I've never beaten him on grass so I think it's nice opportunity to do it right here right now."
"I wouldn't say reaching the final is a dream. It's down to good results and they have been coming after really hard work."
"It's not like it's a miracle or down to luck or anything. You need to do something to bring those good results and that's what I'm doing."
Berdych now hopes to succeed where even Ivan Lendl failed by becoming Wimbledon champion and fancies his chances.
"It's great what he achieved, so many great results," he said. "I'm really only at the beginning of his great results. But I'm still pretty young."
"Unfortunately, he never won the title here but I'm going to get the chance."
Nadal, who has reached his fourth Wimbledon final in five years, acknowledges that Berdych is a dangerous opponent on grass.
"Tomas is a very aggressive player and he has a very good serve and very good flat shots from the baseline so it's going to be a very, very difficult match," he said.
"It is very difficult to stop him when he's playing well and he's playing really well."
"He's had an amazing tournament. I think he played a very good match against Federer and a very good match against Djokovic."
"He's the best of his draw so for that reason he's in the final. No one opponent can be more difficult than Tomas to play this final."