|Posted on June 12, 2011 at 10:16 PM|
June 2011 - PAT CASH, HOST: Welcome to another edition of OPEN COURT, coming to you from Queen's Club in London, where we're marking the start of the grass court season. On this month's show, we meet last year's Wimbledon finalist, Tomas Berdych and the woman in his life, WTA star Lucie Safarova.
TOMAS BERDYCH, WORLD NUMBER SEVEN: The match against Roger in the quarterfinal, that was a really special one. It's really nice to go on court with him, especially in London. That's the court that almost everybody said that he owns it, and he's playing just unbelievable tennis there.
And I was able to beat him, and for me, it was just probably one of the best -- I would say best winning matches that I ever had.
The semifinal, I beat another great player, which is right now playing unbelievable tennis, as well, Novak Djokovic, and I beat him in straight sets.
I'm extremely happy that my first final was in Wimbledon, because it's -- I like traditions, and which other place could be better for that than Wimbledon?
PAT CASH: Tomas will be hoping he can go one better at Wimbledon this year, and cheering him on in the crowd will be Lucie Safarova, his girlfriend and a top 40 player on the WTA tour.
LUCIE SAFAROVA, WORLD NUMBER 38: Well, the good thing is that we know that we have to practice and concentrate and do the things, so we understand each other very well.
The down part a little bit is that we don't get to see each other that often, so that can be difficult in some parts of the year. The tournaments are not together.
PAT CASH: Lucie and Tomas met when they both started playing tennis at the Prostejov club in the Czech Republic. It took Tomas six months to pluck up the courage to ask Lucie out on a date.
SAFAROVA: Yes, he was always very shy, but --
PAT CASH: He's always.
BERDYCH: But I'm getting better in that, so everybody needs to improve, and --
SAFAROVA: We're going -- at first didn't want to tell anyone because we're both in the club and we're both shy. But then we did.
BERDYCH: It was tough to make it secret. Everybody just knew it right away. But it was nice. That was the beginning. It's always like that.
PAT CASH: But with an 11-month playing season, down time is in short supply.
SAFAROVA: Usually after the end of the season, we try to fly somewhere to rest for holidays, and we like to be active, so we will start going into nature, biking and swimming and snorkeling underwater, fishing also, so a lot of interesting things.
This is the part we like the most, we enjoy together, and we don't think about tennis.
I think it was three or four years ago on the holidays, we played once. That didn't go so well, so we won't do that again.
BERDYCH: We did it more. We just said once because, you like --
SAFAROVA: Except for our holidays, that we played once on holiday, and that it didn't go so well.
BERDYCH: Yes. Maybe you shouldn't even say that we go on holidays and we play tennis.
SAFAROVA: It was just once.
BERDYCH: It was once on holidays. But then we play more often. We played twice -- may come together.
SAFAROVA: Yes, that's what I said.
BERDYCH: Oh, OK.
SAFAROVA: We played mixed.
BERDYCH: So -- no, I think it's not that bad. It's better to spend with some different activity than just play tennis together.
SAFAROVA: Like biking.
BERDYCH: Yes, why not? Golf, everything.
PAT CASH: For now, though, it's destination London and the green grass of Wimbledon.
BERDYCH: When I came first time to play on grass, it was for juniors, and I was quite struggling on it. I didn't like it, I had problems with the movement on the court.
Then one day, I came back from the match to the locker room, and the guys asked me, "What happened to you? I thought in Wimbledon we play in the white?" And I came, I was completely green. I'd fallen down like four times.
Now I can say that that's my favorite surface.
PAT CASH: And good luck to Tomas and Lucie at Wimbledon. Now, time for a break.