|Posted on November 16, 2019 at 4:00 PM|
NITTO ATP FINALS
November 16, 2019
London, England, United Kingdom
TOMAS BERDYCH: Thank you so much. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: As you probably heard on court, Tomas has officially announced today his retirement from the ATP Tour, so he's here to answer your questions.
Q. Can I ask when was the moment that you knew it was time to stop? And why?
TOMAS BERDYCH: I don't know exactly the day and date, but it was very soon or very quickly after the US Open this year, because really, like, just the feeling that I went through on my last official match, it's been just one that told me, like, that's it. Like, you tried absolutely everything and the result is how it is.
And also the perspective that the level that I was always chasing, you know, the top results and being in the top positions, and then you almost really fighting for the first match to win really like badly, and you fight with yourself, not really with the opponent.
I said, like, Okay, that's it. That's enough. In terms of just my body doesn't allow me to do so, and it's very unpredictable.
I was able to train, practice, preparing, and then you get to the tournament, and then I play three games, the problem came back. Then what do you want to do?
So it's very hard. You put all the, I would say negative stuff on the one side, and then the positive is to go on court, fight, win the match, and there was no chance to achieve that. There is no really point to continue.
Q. How did you feel?
TOMAS BERDYCH: With the decision or now?
Q. Once you made the decision, what was the first feeling you had?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I was always, like, I would say, like, very -- I always look at the situations that need to see it very realistically. So that was the truth. I mean, I was standing with my feet on the ground and not dreaming about anything. And the situation was as it was.
So the feeling that I said, and I said with my closest and, you know, of course it was not made in a minute, but when I really made my decision with myself and with my closest, it was, I would say, a big relief. Because you really give a lot of your time and your energy to it, and really, there was not much coming up back from it.
Q. As a veteran, I want to thank you for always being very kind, available. Between players, one of the best by far from the media point of view.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Thank you.
Q. Second, if one day you will have a son or a daughter, the first phrase that you will tell to mention your career? And you can choose only one. I was No. 4 in the world. I was in the finals in Wimbledon in 2010 beating Djokovic, Federer, before losing to Nadal. I won a Masters in Bercy. And two Davis Cups.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Maybe strange, but I would say the Wimbledon (smiling). Not the win -- not the victory at the end, but for me, still, like, very, very special moment. Even the final that I lost, it was very, very special moment.
Q. Congratulations for so many things.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Thank you.
Q. The tennis players, when they finish, you have other alternatives. You are doing things in Czech Republic, or what is your future, let's say? Or are you going to teach some other people? Because we need some more Czech players.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Absolutely that I agree with you that we need more Czech tennis players (smiling), the girls or guys. That's true.
But right now, I will make you happy maybe. The plan is actually not to have any plans, because -- no, seriously. The last 15, 20 years was so hectic and so demanding that I just need to just, you know, breathe out easily after all those years.
So I'm not really ready right now that the first thing that tomorrow I will do will be, you know, back in the process of something. Doesn't have to be tennis, business, or whatever. I just need to have time for myself, for my family which, you know, gave me almost everything from the time.
I know I didn't have the proper time, because the tennis career just requires, you know, being very selfish, being absolutely into the sport. And now I have the time. So that's it.
Q. What are you most proud of in your career? And if there is one, what is your biggest regret, something that you think you could have achieved and you couldn't?
TOMAS BERDYCH: The most proud of? I think it's that I was able to stay as I was since a kid. I don't think the tennis career and tennis life doesn't change me as a person.
I mean, of course it forms you in many ways, I mean, with winning, losing, all the fame and all the stuff around. But I still think, and now I can say because now it's over so the things won't change now and that's how it is, I was able to stay, you know, the person I was from the beginning.
Regrets? No, I think even the bad things or the negative experience that I went through or I experienced or I have done, I think they were there for the reason. I think without them, I wouldn't be as good as I was.
So, no, I think even the bad ones were there for the reason.
Q. When some players retire, they go to a completely different profession. Others play the Champions Tour one or two months later. Even though you don't have plans yet, do you see yourself staying involved in the sport to some capacity?
TOMAS BERDYCH: I mean, sport was my life from the kid, and I wouldn't change that, absolutely not.
But if it's going to be in the professional terms or if it's going to be just as my hobby or whatever form, I really don't know. And I don't want to know. I just really want to have every next day as a clean sheet of the paper and whatever is going to happen is happen.
Q. There were two episodes in your career that made the public see you in a different, I thought unfair way, was the Nadal match in Madrid that was there and then the Almagro situation at the Australian Open. You lived in the same generation of Roger and Rafa. How did you cope with those episodes that I thought you were unfairly treated? How do you look back at those episodes?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I think that's actually the follow-up on the question of the gentleman there that really, it's not a regret. Yes, I mean -- I mean, probably if I would do the situation, let's say now or last year, you know, like what happened with Rafa, yes, that would be a bad, bad situation and bad moment in my career, absolutely.
That wouldn't be the moment that give me something positive on the other side, right? But this happened when I was, I don't know, 20, 22, and of course those things are happening, you know. There are guys who, you know, smashing racquets and so on.
Yes, this was a thing that happened in the past, and as I said, just the way how I was able to learn from it, take it as advantage for me and live with that, and again, how the people see me or how all this created around itself, look, I'm trying to be myself. So I won't be the one trying to convince them or do the things differently.
I mean, I'm doing the things as it comes from my heart, and that's how it was on the court. That was all part of me, and that's one of the things, like I said, that I'm proud of, you know, that was not the things that somebody would be moving me, let's say, Oh, you should be behaving or we should create something around you, you know, like those kind of personalities, that it's not really you but you're just playing in one way.
So that's the way.
Q. If I'm not wrong, I'm remembering a very positive press conference from Australian Open 2018 where you tried to be very positive in terms of your body and that it will be better in the future. I'm just wondering when you noticed that it won't be better if you tried it in terms of painkillers to stay on your level, and just a general comment if you tried to do this? And because I hope that a lot of other players with injury problems also do it, what your experience was with painkillers, and if you think that other players with injury problems also do it.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, yeah, I think it was this year, right, 2019 in Australia where I was positive about the state of my body? Because I came after a half year of sitting home, and the start of this season was pretty good. Yes, it was.
There was a huge motivation from me. That was a first actually big injury in my career, which I'm actually pleased, you know. There are guys that they are having it throughout the career many times, and this was after 15 years the first time that I was out for six months.
Then I was able to come back, so it was a huge also part of my career and big motivation for me to do it.
Yeah, the problems came back basically when I was in Miami. And since that, that was nearly impossible to sort it out.
Asking me about the painkillers, no, I couldn't play -- yeah, I can't play with it, because not really helping, and then I felt dizzy and not the way I want to feel on the court. I think the player has to be really 100% ready.
I mean, of course you get tired one day more than the other, but not that you have really a pain. If you have a pain, I mean, you can't go on court. Not me, I mean, that's why I struggle a lot, because I was not coming to the court when I knew that I have all the weapons with me that I can fight with everybody because I'm ready, because I knew that I'm already broken a little bit (smiling).
Q. Now that you're retired from the sport, how will you describe your legacy you left in the sport?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Sorry?
Q. How would you describe the legacy you have left in the sport?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Again, I think I'm not the correct one to judge that, you know. I was trying to do the best I possibly can, and I think this is something that you created with your achievement, with your behaving.
And again, it's something quite -- you know, it's not a thing that you can touch the bottle. That's something what you can have a different opinion, he can have a different opinion. And I don't want to change that.
So the only way I can change is was being ready for every single match, putting 100% to every time I step on the court, and whatever is the outcome it is the outcome.
Q. Which is, in your opinion, the best tennis player now of the next generation or in this moment?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, of the next generation, it is always hard to tell, because I like to judge it by not by the short period of time. Let's say, in my opinion, Stefanos is playing incredibly well, but then again, if you look at him and his a bit of being out in the summer, those things are something what, you know, how you like to judge it.
In my eyes, the player, when he's really consistent throughout the whole season, I think that's a big statement. So let's see. But definitely he's one of the next generation or new guys that can start to winning slams.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports