|Posted on July 2, 2010 at 8:50 PM|
I fear no one, says Berdych
Friday, 2 July 2010
Man of the moment Tomas Berdych says he fears no one after bludgeoning his way to his first ever Grand Slam final with a straight-sets victory over third seed Novak Djokovic.
The 12th-seeded Czech showed his quarter-final victory over six-times champion Roger Federer was no fluke with an emphatic 6-3, 7-6 (11-9), 6-3 victory over the Serb to become the first man to book a place in Sunday's final.
The 6ft 5in right-hander is enjoying his best year on tour after reaching both the final of the Miami Masters 1000 in April and the semi-finals of the recent French Open and is brimming with confidence after back-to-back victories over two of the top three players in the world in the last 48 hours.
"Playing well, feeling great, still healthy, and I hope some energy still left there for the last one," said the 24-year-old, who is bidding to become the first Czech to win the men's singles at Wimbledon since Jan Kodes in 1973. "I'm looking forward to the next [match], and definitely [don't] fear anybody."
Berdych came mighty close to letting a nerve-wracking second set slip away having been broken when serving for the set at 6-5. He then watched four successive set points disappear when leading 6-2 in a tie-break he eventually clinched 11-9. But the big Czech said he should have wrapped up the set without needing a tie-break.
"It shouldn't be [a] tie-break because, I mean, I was serving to close the set." Berdych insisted. "There I just made couple of mistakes and lost my serve. Then again I have 6 3 up and give some set points to Novak. Finally I just made it on my side, and then he starts to be really, really down, you know, I think more mentally than physically."
Berdych admitted he woke up on Friday feeling the effects of the five matches he had played to reach the semi-finals but was able to draw on his reserves when play got under way. "I felt quite tired since the morning, but then all of a sudden just came on court, feel great, and just win it in three sets.
"You know, the energy is getting lower and lower, and, you know, I think the sleep is the best thing how you can just, you know, bring it a little bit higher and get it back a little bit. It's great feeling so far. I'm just trying to be enjoying the victory of today. You know, I think I will try to do the same as I did after [beating] Roger. So, you know, today just be thinking about today's match, and [from] tomorrow, just leave it on [the] side and just get ready for the finals. I'm still not done yet here."
After starting the year in 20th place in the ATP rankings, regardless of what happens in the final on Sunday the Czech will jump from No.13 to No.8 when the new list is published on Monday. Berdych says it's a combination of improvements that are behind his excellent form this year and that it was his victory over Federer in the fourth round of the Miami Masters 1000 that was the turning point of his season.
"It's many things," he explains. "I mean, I feel, yeah, more confidence. I feel more stronger mentally... physically as well. I start quite well since the beginning of the year. [In the US in March and April] I played really great two weeks or two tournaments, Indian Wells and Miami. I think in Miami [greater belief] came in the match against Roger when I won that match from match point down. [My season] turns quite a lot in that match."