Tomas Berdych a.k.a. The Birdman - A Fan Site since 2004



April 4, 2008


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you think you played a little too defensive out there today?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I don't think so. I mean, the first set was the key of the match, and I unlikely lost a couple of points in the end of the set.
That's happened. He was playing really solid and he took the first set, and then I have to say that, like -- well, I get a little bit tired, and then I -- I mean, if you are not 100% with him, then it's really tough to play.

Q. The double fault was your first of the match but very crucial?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah. I mean, once -- it has to happen like for the first time. That's what I said. Like unluckily it was in the tiebreak. It was really close.
I mean, I was down in the tiebreak. I came back, and maybe if I made the first set, everything can be different.

Q. Was his deep topspin shots bothering you?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I mean, it's really tough shot, and -- to play, I mean, that's his style of the game. I mean, you have to take it like all together. It's not just about the spin or something like that.
Yeah, I mean, he's a great player. He's using his weapons and it works.

Q. What do you think you have to do to maybe get to the next level? Maybe beef up your backhand a little bit?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I'm trying to move for the next level. I don't know which kind of level you mean. I'm doing everything for that. I think that more important is consistency of good results.
If I can bring like semifinals from every single tournament what I'm going to play, then it's going to be fine.

Q. Could you feel him stepping it up? He won the last 12 points and he made no unforced errors in the second set. Did you feel him raise his game, or do you think it was more you?
TOMAS BERDYCH: I think it was both things together. Like I said, it was like my battery's gone. It's really too long to stay here in the States. I mean, for these two tournaments, it's really long and -- well, it's maybe not the right way, but it's all right.
So, yeah, I have to just get more ready for it and be more like better conditions and then maybe it's not going to happen in the second set.

Q. He had never beat you on hard court before. How much of a better hard court player is he now than maybe even a year or two ago?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I think he starts to play more aggressively on the hard court, and I think that's why it's changing.
Yeah, he can lose like maybe more matches on the hard, but I think his game is different because he's trying more attack the ball, playing more aggressively and then of course you going to start to make more unforced errors.
But then if you are just standing like two meters behind the baseline and trying to just put the ball in, then if me or let's say James Blake a going to play with him, then the match is not going to be that tough for us and we can beat him I think every single game.
But now when he starts to play more aggressive, he can make more winners and a little more unforced errors, but I think that's what tennis is about.

Q. Can you look ahead to next week and the Davis Cup, Russia, what your feelings are and how that might play out?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, well, it's going to be really tough. It's going to be really hard for us, especially for me, because, I mean, to get from here to Europe and then to Russia, it's not going to be easy.
Then come after the long trip here in the States, come back and play indoor on the clay with really tough opponents from Russia, it's really not going to be easy.
Well, the atmosphere is going to be different. It's going to be team match, so I'm looking forward for that. I like all the Davis Cup ties and everything. So we'll see.

Q. How tough is their team?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I mean, they have a lot of options. For us, we have, I think, really good just two singles players, and then depends on the doubles.
But they can put I think four or five players into the team and whatever or whoever is feeling better, has better form, he can play.

Q. If I understand correctly, you weren't physically completely fit for the back-to-back tournaments in the States?
TOMAS BERDYCH: I didn't say that. I mean, I just said that it's really too long to play two tournaments for one month and stay here. So that's what just happened in the second set today. I wasn't that fit and that's all what I said.

Q. Speaking of long trips, are you planning to play the Olympics?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I mean, it's long time to thinking about Olympics, but, well, my memories are great for the Olympics, and I don't see any other like reason right now that I'm not going to go there.
I mean, it's once in the four years. For me, it was great experience, and, well, so far I'm healthy and everything is going like we wish. So far I'm going there.

Q. Were you surprised that Rafa challenged that ball in the tiebreak? It was a very big point, and he just stopped playing. Was that a surprise to you that he would take that risk?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I mean -- it was on his side. He was like one meter from the ball. So if you see the ball, or I think most of the players will do the same, because, I mean, you can feel the ball. You can see the ball. You are just one meter from the ball.
When he was 100% sure that he saw it out, I mean, why not? If it's going to be other way and I'm going to be in his position, I would do the same.

Q. Yourself and Nicole Vaidisova are the No. 1 Czech players. Talk about the level of expectation in the Czech Republic, considering where you might end up in the game. Perhaps in the past you've been written about as perhaps potential world No. 1s. Talk about the level of expectation.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I mean, expectations is one thing and like real tennis and real results are the other things. It's really nice if somebody is going to be talking about, or like especially the media and the people who used to think just with a pen and paper and writing some things, and then they going to be talking that, I don't know, you should serve better and play better, and these things.
Well, I think it's not a good way. I think we are professionals in our sport and they're professionals in their work, so let's keep with this.
I mean, I'm trying to do my 100% what I can, and I'm trying to step a little higher in the ranking. I'm still young and we will see; the career is really long.

Q. You guys travel all year round; yet it seems that the players kind of pinpoint this month as a really tough travel month when you're going Australia and everything. What is it about maybe this run or the month that's different than the other travel all year that is harder?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, especially for us, I mean, it's really long because you came from Europe and you have to get used for the other conditions, so you have to come a little bit earlier to the States.
So you spend like one week before the tournament. Then if you are seeded, then you play like end of the first week. Then you have like one day off, one day match, one day off. Then if you lost in the first round or a little bit early in the draw, then you have like 14 days to next match. So you just move here.
Every day practicing and on the same place. It's like all the things together, because if you have a tournament for one week and you lost, you can go home or to the next tournament which starts again in Monday.
So this is quite a big difference than the normal single weeks of tournaments.

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