|Posted on September 20, 2016 at 9:20 PM|
Stars visit St. Isaac's Cathedral to take in scenic city view
ATP Staff | 20 September 2016
It was a day for sightseeing in St. Petersburg as Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic took time away from the St. Petersburg Open to visit the iconic St. Isaac cathedral on Tuesday. The duo were joined by Raonic’s girlfriend Danielle Knudson to take a tour of one of the city’s most picturesque landmarks, as well as a climb up a private staircase to the Balustrade where 12 bronze angels overlook St. Petersburg.
“I think it’s pretty special,” said Raonic, who will open his title defence in the Russian city against 2004 champion Mikhail Youzhny in the second round. “You can see most of fantastic cultural icons, monuments here in St. Petersburg. From this point atop St. Isaac’s Church, you can see everything and you really get to see how big St. Petersburg is, which sometimes you can really forget if you are driving a car. To climb to the Top of St Isaac’s Cathedral today was simply phenomenal."
“It was really interesting to get a tour and to go downstairs to see all the cathedral and to get so much information,” said Berdych. “It's a beautiful part of the city, so it was really interesting.
“The city is full of history and old architecture part and many other things as well. I'm coming from Prague, which is also a very historical city, so it’s always nice to see different parts of the city, the cathedral, the palaces and the stuff like this.”
Though both players stand 6’5” tall, Berdych and Raonic admitted fighting their fear of heights in order to enjoy the vantage point. “I'm not the biggest fan of the heights. I'm afraid of that,” the Czech said. “I always managed with myself to see, because the view is really beautiful and something different when you can see the city from above.”
“I’m not very good with heights,” the Canadian said. “The CN Tower in Toronto has to be the tallest place I’ve been to. I try to stay away of heights. Luckily, this structure has been around for over 600 years. So I definitely feel safe here.”
Berdych, the third seed, will face Andrey Kuznetsov in his opening match in the second round.
TOMAS BERDYCH: “It was really interesting to get a tour and to go downstairs to see all the cathedral and to get so much information,” “It's a beautiful part of the city, so it was really interesting.