Thursday, September 29, 2016
Berdych d. Kukushkin 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4)
Kukushkin played very, very well tonight. What made the difference, do you think?
TB: Well, yes, he played very well. He made me work really hard, played good tennis, especially in the second set. He came up with some good games to break me back. And most of the things were decided in the tie-breaks which I played much better. I took my chances and I think that the overall experience was exciting, but especially for a guy ranked #80 in the world, I think he had a great performance.
You were both looking pretty winded after some of those long rallies. How is your body feeling?
Yeah, I think it’s pretty good. There were a couple of good, long rallies. And of course, you get a bit of tired in those shots, I mean, it’s still warm, humid, and it’s going to be something that makes you feel like that, but overall, it was fine. Two very good sets. High level from both sides. And really, I’m pleased with the way I handled it.
Tomas, I notice you did very well in Grand Slam tournaments this year, quarterfinals in Melbourne and Paris and semifinals in Wimbledon. Does that make more pity that you had to miss the US Open? And how do you feel physically right now?
Yeah, I mean, even despite those good results, I think it’s sad to miss this time for me. It’s 13 years in a row that I was not able to play in the main draw. And I was not even home; I was in hospital. Now things are well and I’m quite, I would say lucky, blessed, you know, that I can be actually back because the prognosis doesn’t really look good. I mean, it should be that I might even be able to start maybe next season. But I’m back. I can play. I’m feeling healthy and that’s important. So basically for me, whatever is left in the season for me, it’s a bonus. I’m just trying to get more solid and that’s how it is.
We would like to know how you feel since the sickness in the US Open.
Yeah, as I said, you know. I’m feeling well. I still had some time to do some preparation, some training before I went for this trip and as I said, if I would not be feeling well, if the doctor wouldn’t give me green light to go, I wouldn’t be here, so, I’m feeling well. I’m good. I’m here to play as many matches as possible and that’s my goal.
Was your coach with you last week? Is he going to come to China?
No. Goran will be with me for Vienna and Paris. I’m just here with Luka. It’s a guy that he’s also part of the team. And they’re kind of sharing the weeks when we are together. And Goran, he’s going to join me in the week before Vienna and Paris.
Even though you didn’t play US Open, you’re still ranked #9, both in the year and the race rankings. How do you think your prospective for London is coming?
Well, I think it’s very much the same. Last years I was always in the position where I played the whole season. I haven’t missed one event, especially Grand Slam. It’s such a big event that if you miss that or lose first round then it’s almost impossible to qualify for the World Tour Finals, especially how tough these days the tennis is, so I’m just leaving it completely open. I came here to really be lucky and be able to play some matches. And if I’m going to do well and I play, then of course, I’m going to fight for my chance, but as I said, my season was supposed to be already over. But now I’m getting something extra so I’m happy with it.