|Posted on March 28, 2010 at 3:10 AM|
Mar 27, 2010
Solange Reyner | CBS4 South Florida
When Tomas Berdych was little, his mother told him to not study medicine. She didn't want him to toil over books and cadavers for so long like she did.
"She told me just try to be a tennis player, to be a professional, and not like me – studying for 20 years to be a doctor. It was mean in a good and nice way," said Berdych, who won his third round match on Saturday afternoon at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne over the Netherlands' Thiemo De Bakker in straight sets.
"She told me I could do what I wanted and loved."
So he chose the life of a tennis player.
At 24, the 6-foot-5 Czechoslovakian- who looks more like a model with his baby blue eyes and dirty blonde hair – is trying to make a dent in his profession.
He's known for upsetting Roger Federer in 2004 at the Summer Olympics, and then-no.2 Rafael Nadal in 2005 and '06. Those wins aren't enough for the no.20 player who was once ranked as high as no.9 on the ATP tour.
"That match against Federer really happened when I was coming on the tour. I was really young, and it was one of my first tournaments. To get to the top I have to beat those guys consistently, and I haven't been."
It's something he's working on. If he advances past Argentine Hector Zaballos early next week, he could have another crack at top seed Federer. The two are in the top half of the main draw.
"If you're going to play well, you're going to play really consistent and everything comes together," said Berdych. "You can win the title, you're going to be confident, and you're going to climb higher in the rankings."