|Posted on November 17, 2010 at 5:24 AM|
Berdych is only the seventh Czech player to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals.
Berdych looks to ATP Finals
THE PRAGUE POST - By František Bouc - Staff Writer
Posted: November 17, 2010
Tennis player Tomáš Berdych lost his last match of the tennis season without winning a single game in the third set, losing to Russian Nikolay Davydenko 4-6, 7-6, 6-0 in the third round of the Paris Indoor tournament Nov. 11.
Still, he has good reason to celebrate.
After the best season of his career, Berdych's advancement to the third round secured him a place in the ATP World Tour Finals to be held Nov. 21-28 in London. Berdych ended the season ranked as the world's sixth-best player.
Berdych became only the seventh Czech player in history to qualify for the championship in which the season's top eight players compete.
"It's a special achievement for me," Berdych said. "In contrast to the Grand Slams, in which up to 128 players compete four times a year, the ATP World Tour Finals take place only once a year, and only the top eight players receive an invitation. It's a bonus for the results reached during the season."
Having won five ATP tournaments in his career so far, Berdych failed to add other tournament wins this season. Still, he celebrated two remarkable results. In June, he advanced to the semifinals of the French Open. One month later, he reached his first Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon. In his giant-killing run to the Wimbledon final, Berdych took out six-time champion Roger Federer of Switzerland.
Berdych was the first Czech player to reach the Wimbledon final since Ivan Lendl in 1987 but lost out to the world's top-ranked player, Rafael Nadal, in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5 6-4.
"I hope this gives me a lot of confidence and some extra power to be stronger next time, and who knows what will happen in the next few years?" Berdych said after the final.
Instead of keeping up his blistering performance, however, Berdych has trailed off since Wimbledon. He won only nine of the 20 matches that he played since then.
Berdych said high expectations and the vision to qualify to the ATP World Tour Finals were at the heart of his mediocre play.
"In the past, I entered many games in the position of a mere challenger, but after Wimbledon, everything changed. My opponents became the challengers and were keen on taking the scalp of a top-10 player. Every game was much more difficult for me," Berdych said.
In London, Berdych will once again be a "mere challenger." Three years ago, he experienced the atmosphere of the ATP World Tour Finals as a substitute player. He did not play a single game.
"I'll try to pick up my game and to prove that I did not qualify by accident," Berdych said.