26 December 2016
Tomas Berdych will begin his 2017 season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
Tomas Berdych: Health problems in the past, 2017 can be ‘a successful year’ starting in Abu Dhabi
Returning to Abu Dhabi for his third Mubadala World Tennis Championship, Tomas Berdych is hoping to start his season in top gear following a "difficult" 2016 that saw his run of 52 consecutive grand slam appearances come to an end when appendicitis forced him to pull out of the US Open. The Czech talks about his goals for 2017.
How do you look back at the season? There were a few health concerns, which forced you out of the US Open. It was the first major you missed after 52 consecutive grand slam appearances.
The last season was a very different and difficult season for me, first a change of my coach in the middle then health problems that forced me out of a big part of the season — it is then hard to catch up. Also I have been around for long time and you just can’t have all great seasons
You are now 31 and you must be reminded a lot about the age, but with things looking a lot different in men’s tennis now, do you believe you could finally have your chance to win a grand slam? Just like Goran Ivanisevic did in 2001, a few days short of his 30th birthday?
That is why I am around. My body is still in good shape and I love tennis so I am trying to achieve the top goals and enjoy what I am doing.
What are your goals for 2017? You now have Ivanisevic as your coach — how different has that experience been?
I want to have a full season without any injury. That is a base to have a successful year. Goran is bringing his experience as a coach and player, and I believe he is the right person for me in this stage of my career.
When you do call time on your career, how will you remember it, having played at the same time as players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and even Stan Wawrinka?
I want to finish and be able to say to myself that I have done all I possibly can to be the best and that I can compete with those guys is an honour. I this it’s the best era of our sport that’s ever been.