|Posted on July 4, 2010 at 5:38 PM|
I didn't take my chances, says Berdych
by Lee Goodall | Sunday, 4 July 2010
Beaten men's finalist Tomas Berdych paid tribute to newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal by admitting the world No.1 simply did a much better job of taking his chances at key moments of their singles final.
The 12th-seeded Czech had beaten Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on his way to his first Grand Slam final, but said Nadal had been too strong during his 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory.
"He was really good," said the 24-year-old, who will move up to a new career-high world ranking of No.8 on Monday. "He was strong. I think the biggest difference between us was that when he got a chance, he just took it."
Berdych held three break points in the opening game of the second set but all three slipped away. Nadal pounced in the 12th game of the set when Berdych was serving at 5-6 to break to love and with a two-set lead effectively ended the contest there and then. "He gave me one [chance] in the second set, one in the third set, and none of them I could take. That just shows how strong he is."
The two-hour, 12-minute final was played in a slight breeze but Berdych insisted the conditions - or the fact that it was his first experience of a Grand Slam final - played no part in the result. "[The wind] was same for both of us," said Berdych, who was rewarded with half a million pounds for his fortnight's work. "I don't think it [made] a big difference."
Despite missing out on the chance to become the first Czech Wimbledon men's singles champion since Jan Kodes in 1973, Berdych said he believes the experience of playing the best players in the world on the biggest stages can help him become a better player.
"I think the only way I can improve and be better than right now is to play more of these matches... especially to play Rafa more. His biggest weapon is his left hand. It's not many players like that. It's really tough to find the right rhythm. And I think [if I play] more matches against him, then I can get the feeling that I can do it better next time.
"Right now, of course I'm disappointed. You know, it was my first final. It could go better than this. But still, you know, it was a lot of experience for me, and I hope if I can work with this experience like I did from the experience of reaching semi-finals in Paris, then when I get to the semis again, I can just go through."
Berdych's Wimbledon adventure means he will improve his previous career-best singles ranking by one place when the new ATP list is released and he says his next goal is to become a top-five player.
"That's what I'm trying to do every day when I practice, for match, for everything," he revealed. "I'm still climbing higher and higher. Still I can go a little bit higher. If you just look at the statistics [from the last few weeks] then only good times are waiting for me," he added with a smile.