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PLAYER NEWS 2014 by ATP Staff - Tomas Berdych talks about new coach Dani Vallverdu, new fitness trainer Azuz Smicich and start of season 2015

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 12:30 AM


Berdych: "It's Not About Miracles"

by ATP Staff  | 19.12.2014

Eager to leave no stone unturned as he strives to be the best tennis player he can be, Tomas Berdych will go into the 2015 ATP World Tour season working with Dani Vallverdu as his coach and Azuz Simcich as his fitness trainer, after making the difficult decision to part ways with Tomas Krupa and David Vydra.

After making a fifth successive appearance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November, thinking time on holiday helped Berdych to make his decision. “When I finish, I want to be able to say I tried everything and in that sense I was looking to make the decision to change my team,” Berdych told “At the last minute, the news came up that Dani was available and it helped in all my decisions. I approached him and it all started.”

While not expecting change to come overnight, World No. 7 Berdych is confident that Vallverdu has the expertise and experience to gradually add more layers to his game.

Vallverdu has been part of Andy Murray’s coaching team for the past five years, helping the Scot achieve Grand Slam success at the 2012 US Open and a historic victory at Wimbledon in 2013, as well as a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics. It is experience that 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Berdych is keen to tap into.

“The thing I like most about Dani is that he's a fresh new guy who's going to come and work with me,” said the 29-year-old Berdych. “He's going to see my tennis with different eyes, which is very important because I think when you've spent a long time with a certain team, you can kind of lose the wider angle of the tennis perspective.

“Dani is very strong in knowing the players and making strategies for matches. That's something I was missing a bit,” continued the right-hander. “It's about trying to bring a bit more variety in my game, having options, and knowing what is the right thing to do in each moment. I think these details can make a big difference in the end.”

Simcich, who was recommended to Berdych by his manager Ivan Ljubicic after the Croatian had experience working with him as part of Milos Raonic’s team, has already been training with the Czech, specifically on his movement around the court, during the off-season.

Vallverdu arrived in Prague on Tuesday and will work with Berdych in the Czech Republic over the Christmas period before they leave for an exhibition in Thailand on 26 December. It is earlier than Berdych would normally leave after Christmas, but the Czech is hoping that the additional training time with his new coach in Thailand will give him an edge when he starts the 2015 ATP World Tour season at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha on 5 January.

“It's not about miracles,” said Berdych, talking about his expectations for the new partnership. “It's about the constant preparation and constant work. It's like building a house. You have to start with the foundations; you can't start with the roof. Let's say the roof is the results and we have to start with the base. We're in that preparation stage and working hard.

“I'm giving myself the opportunity that when I step on the tennis court, I'll have all the cards in my hand and can use them in the match. It's going to be all about getting those details and the things that Dani can teach me with his different view and try to replicate them on the court.”

Berdych goes into the Australian Open with added confidence, having reached the semi-finals for the first time last year, losing out to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka. “I always look forward to the Australian Open,” he said. “It's one of my favourites. I see it as an advantage; once you've had a good result it means that the place is good. I feel very good there.

“I'm really looking forward to going into the new season with a new team. I hope it's going to give me the extra needed boost and I'm going to try and do well there.”

Berdych will be debuting a new summer look in Melbourne, one that he helped create with the design team at H&M. He had the chance to show off his special-edition shirt to fans on Thursday night at an autograph signing at one of the largest H&M stores in Prague, where he spent an hour meeting more than 300 fans and giving interviews for national Czech television.

“I was a part of it, working with the design team, discussing the design, the fabric, material fitting,” said Berdych of his new outfit. “It's very interesting actually because you can see your input as part of the final product.

“There were so many people queuing [at the store] because it's close to Christmas. It was a very nice promotion. It's nice to see the Czech fans, because they don't have many opportunities to see me.”

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