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

Dubai 2011 Round 2


February 23, 2011


T. BERDYCH/N. Davydenko
6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Really tough match. You came through in the end very well.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, as you just said, it was a quite big test for me. And especially like how I'm feeling, if my like condition preparation is getting back, getting to the level that I can compete with these guys.
And especially and especially against Nikolay it's tough, because he likes to play fast, he likes to play long rallies, and he's very solid from the baseline. So it was very tough match for me.
And especially in the end, of course, yeah, I was serving to end up the match, but didn't go well. But then it was a good fight back in the tiebreak. You know, he's a really tough opponent. He's not going to give you a single point just like that.
That's what he was trying to do all match today, and that's why I'm even more happy than just to go through than even other matches.

Q. I understand Nikolay had a 9-1 record against you on the APT tour. Had you thought about that going in, that this particular person has done quite well against you in the past? Were you aware of that stepping onto the court?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, of course if somebody would say that he doesn't care, it's not true. I mean, any player can just -- you know, I know that situation against him, and I play many tough matches, and especially the last, you know, two, three matches were very close.
And as was said on court, last three matches it's 2-1 for me, and that's kind of the work of my team, and especially with Tomas, what we've done. So then if I look at it this way, then I'm 2-1 up. I'm always trying to take it by the positive way, and that's how it is right now.

Q. You're one of only three seeds left in the draw. Obviously the top three. It's opened up quite a bit. I think you're facing Petzschner next. Have you played him? What do you expect from that match?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Of course I played him. Last two matches we played it was very close ones and very tough ones. He can play very well. He's done well in the doubles past last maybe one, two years. So even that, you get a big confidence. Then pretty much he plays very aggressive game and he likes, you know especially this surface and fast conditions. So he's done well.
And for me, it's just the next opponent than I need to get prepared, need to get relaxed, prepare again, and start, yeah, from the beginning, take point by point and try to go through again.

Q. Your serve was really good today. Coming out of today, what did you like about your game today?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, well, I mean, definitely I had to change something against Nikolay, and I think it works pretty well today. And even when I get back to the match when we played in Wimbledon, that was the key what I need to do again the same. I don't know if I can say that he would be prepared for the next time, but, you know, it's a bit different than with the other guys.
That's why with his style, what he likes to play, you know, he really likes to play the running shots. That's his best two weapons: running forehand, even to the backhand side he's very strong.
So I was trying to keep him a little bit more in the middle, and it was working pretty well today.

Q. In the past few years, when we talk about a Grand Slam and it's always about Roger and Rafael, and now we have Djokovic winning the Australian Open. When we talk about rankings, we talk about big four, and but now Soderling is No.4. Do you feel sometimes it's opening up a little bit, maybe providing you more opportunity to do something even bigger this year?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I wish to make it happen, and that's what I'm trying to do since beginning even of my preparation for before the season. So there is nothing change. So it's just matter of what I'm going to do, how I'm going to play.
And then even if you want to win a Grand Slam, you have to beat at least three of the top guys. I did in Wimbledon. I beat Roger, I beat Novak, but in the final was still one more waiting. That's the way what I'm talking about.
So even if you want to do well on Grand Slam, still you need to beat at least three great players. That's how it is. And it doesn't matter who it is. Because if you are facing opponent in the semifinal of Grand Slam, he needs to be very good. It's not everybody can -- everybody can't get to the semis.
So even if it's Roger, Rafa, Soderling, anybody, he's going to be strong. You just need to go through.

Q. Seems like all the top players now play well on all surfaces. Do you have a preference? You got to the semis in Paris; final of Wimbledon.
TOMAS BERDYCH: I don't have any preference at all. I mean, that's pretty much the way of modern tennis right now. If you want to be on top, you have to be great or even good on all the surfaces. It's not like the old days, that if somebody was good on clay, then he spend like half season on the clay and he still was like top 10.
The same for the other way, for fast courts. But these days it's no chance that if there is going to be one player who just like to play on clay, then he has no chance. I mean, yeah, if he's Rafa and he wins six of six tournaments, yeah, of course.
But other than that, there is no chance.

Q. Do you think as well there is less difference in the way players play on different surfaces now?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I think the level of game just get that high. You know, it's so different than the days before. I think just the biggest difference between all the top guys is that we improved the game from the defense.
You know, if you look for the days like Sampras, Agassi, yeah, those are great guys, you know, serving big, playing very aggressive. But if you just look for the other way, that if somebody gets them under pressure a little bit, yeah, the point was over.
And if you look for today's game, like with Roger, Rafa, especially Novak, can get from the defense and how they can play from that positions, it's so far big difference than the days before. That's why the tennis right now is much higher than before.

Q. With Grand Slams, 21 or 23 have been won by Rafa and Federer, and now you have Djokovic. As someone who's trying to break in, is this always the case, that 10, 15 years ago you think there would be a couple top guys a couple notches above everyone else, or do you think we are in a period that as someone climbing up the rankings, you look up and you say, Winning a Grand Slam is more difficult than ever? How do you look at it?
TOMAS BERDYCH: No, I mean, I just see it from two ways. The one is that -- let's take the positive first. That's the one that I'm playing in the years of two greatest players ever being in the sport. Even if Rafa just -- still, both of them has an opportunity to win even more Grand Slams and get even higher in the like history of whatever, statistics, whatever you want to call it. I can be part of that, you know, to be competing against them. It's not every time to play these guys.
And the other way, of course, would be nice if, you know, let's say the top 10 would be a little bit like - a little more even. That these guys are really -- yeah, of course, that they are not every time the best players in the history. It's not every time, every decade, or anything like that. Yeah, that's just what happens.
So as you mentioned, maybe if there wouldn't be these two guys, maybe there would be other ones. I'm happy to be in this time, you know, playing, having a chance to play against these greatest players. Once I'm going to finish, I can say I beat both of them, I played great matches against them, and look what they achieved.
I think that's just how it is, and you just need to deal with that.

Q. Going into a Grand Slam knowing that they're the top two or three seeds, how do you deal with that psychologically? Do you think about that?
TOMAS BERDYCH: No, no, definitely not. Just look for my first opponent in the first round, and that's it. Even if I'm position like 6, 7 in the world or I was 20 something and somebody ask me like, Yeah, you coming to the Grand Slams. What are you going to do?
I said and I'm going to say every time the same: I'm facing first round opponent and that's it. You know, I can go over, and then ask me again. So go step by step. Because many times if you just look for the draw and, well, yeah, I mean, somebody in semifinal, there, there, there, no good way.
So it's really just be focused since first match, go step by step, and then, as I said before, if you want to do well, win the Grand Slam, you at least need to beat three really top players. Doesn't matter who it is.

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