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2012 Abu Dhabi

Berdych to use Davis Cup to help grand slam wait

Dec 27, 2012
New hope: Berdych feels the Davis Cup win has added to his confidence.

Czech star Tomas Berdych will kick off his 2013 season against the same player he ended 2012 with – world No5 David Ferrer.

The pair faced off in the Davis Cup final last month in Prague. Ferrer beat Berdych in straight sets but it was the Czech who was victorious at the end of the weekend, as his team managed to sink the Spaniards 3-2 to take the tie and lift the Cup.

After spending Christmas with their respective families, Berdych and Ferrer have touched down in Abu Dhabi ready to renew their hostilities and the world No6 is hoping he can improve his 3-6 head-to-head record when they step on Centre Court at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

“It’s a nice situation,” Berdych said of the unusual coincidence of facing Ferrer again so soon. “I hope it’s going to go better for me than last time. David was really strong and was playing really great but Davis Cup is a different type of competition and his results weren’t enough to bring the title for Spain.

"We (the Czech Republic) as a team were stronger and here it’s completely different. I’m looking forward to that. I haven’t played outdoors for a couple of months now so this is one of the best starts I can ever have.

“David is a guy I would say is one of the biggest fighters on court. His movement is amazing. He likes to play long rallies. I’ll try to play my game, try to play aggressive.”

Ferrer is coming off the best season of his career where he picked up a season-record seven titles in 2012 and won his first Masters 1000 crown in Paris.

The Valencia-resident, who made the MWTC final last year, may be at the mature age of 30 but appears to be playing the best tennis of his life, and Berdych agrees. “I think there’s a change in his play,” Berdych said.

“He was one of the most consistent players all year, and even after winning Paris, he added an extra gear, started playing even more aggressively and playing more dangerously than before. So not just solid on one level but now he can add something more. He has more confidence and yeah, he’s a better player for sure.”

Berdych, however, is not short on confidence himself as he hopes his Davis Cup triumph can act as a springboard for the new season, the same way it has been for world No1 Novak Djokovic, who dominated the 2011 season after winning the Cup with Serbia at the end of 2010.

The 27-year-old said: “Of course it gives you something on your belt, to your career, that you already achieved something. You have many results but this is something that stands really on top so far. This is one of the three goals that you can get in tennis, and I have one now, so of course it gives you some extra confidence and self belief, so let’s see how this can help me next season.”