|Posted on September 22, 2016 at 8:55 PM|
Sept 22, 2016 - Berdych def. Kuznetsov R2 St. Petersburg Open
Question: You played your last tournament in Cincinnati, how does it feel to be back on court after such a long layoff?
Tomas Berdych: It feels really good. It's been a long time and it's been a tough time for me, not an easy period of the season because of the health troubles I had. But now I can say I'm feeling well. I had some time for practice and the only thing I missed was playing matches. Now I'm here and I'm happy I've won my first match and I'd like just keep going.
Q: As far as I understand, you've just begun working with Ivanisevic, what are your first impressions so far? And what do you think he can bring to your game?
T.B.: I'm very happy to have Goran on my team and we have had a very good time so far after my health issues when I was practicing before I came here. First of all, I like his approach, he makes things simple and looks for the good parts of my game and tries to make them better and builds my game on it. As we continue to work together he'll be able to share his experience from his pro times when he was an active player, especially when he won his Slam.
Q: Given the problems you've been having, struggling with your health and all, did you envisage the option of not coming to St. Petersburg?
T.B.: Initially, when they discovered the health problems, their said in the best-case scenario I might resume playing at the start of next season. But then, actually, I recovered better than expected, my body recovered and here I am. So I am very happy to be back earlier and play tennis.
Q: You are known to be an ice hockey fan. Were you following closely that World Cup in Toronto, are you going to watch the next match of the Czechs and can you comment on the performance of the Czech hockey team so far?
TB: I'm a hockey fan and I'm coming from a hockey country, unfortunately at this World Cup we are not doing too well. I haven't seen any match live because of the time difference. It’s sport, I am an athlete too, I know how tough it is and what it takes. I just hope the Czech hockey player will do their best in this match. Hope they could have a good one.
Q: Did you expect today’s match to be so close, so tough - what made the difference during the tie-break?
T.B: Well, I expected a tough match. I was just trying to hang in there, to play my tennis and just see what happens. As I said on the court, Kuznetsov has a great talent, he played some very good tennis and has a bright future. What made the difference in the tie-break? I think it was definitely the experience, maybe I just changed my position a little bit on my return and played a couple of balls differently – not the way he expected, I was all about small details.
Q: The US Open was the first Slam you've skipped in so many years, were you watching the US Open somehow on TV and do you fully enjoy now your comeback on the court after such a long layoff.
T.B.: At the beginning I wasn't really watching any US Open match because I was in a hospital, I wasn't feeling well, so I was just sleeping in day time. Then later I got home and watched a couple of matches. It was a sad feeling because I missed my first Slam in 13 years, so right now every single match is like a bonus for me. I wasn’t supposed to be playing here, so now I am so happy be back on the court and play some tennis.
Q: The Czechs are due to play their next Davis Cup tie in February in Australia against the home team. Do you plan to play and maybe stay in Australia longer after the Australian Open is over? And when do you think the Czechs will win the Davis Cup trophy again?
T.B.: It's the first time I've heard about the results of the Davis Cup draw. Well, I just need to give it some thoughts now. I don’t know yet if I am going to play the 1st round or whether I am going to stay in Australia longer. Honestly, its’ very difficult to say when the Czech team is going to win the Davis Cup next time. Because Radek (Stepanek) and me, we are both approaching the end of our careers and it's an extremely difficult competition to commit and to win, too. So I don't know when we’re gonna have enough power. We just need to wait for some other fresh guys to come up and see when this is going to happen.
Source: Press-center St. Petersburg Open