|Posted on December 22, 2010 at 1:28 PM|
Photo Archive: Tomas Berdych on November 28, 2009 in Prague
Tomas Berdych eyes revenge and fitness in Abu Dhabi
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
World No 6 Tomas Berdych will be looking to avenge his Wimbledon final defeat to Rafael Nadal, but he must first get past World No 20 Marcos Baghdatis in their first round clash at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship later this month in Abu Dhabi.
The 25 year-old Berdych, born in the Czech Republic but resident in Monte Carlo, Monaco, has already defeated Nadal three times in his career, and has a 2-2 win-loss record against Baghdatis.
With five career titles to his credit since he turned pro in 2002 and despite a "satisfying" 2010, Berdych ended the season without a title.
"In 2010 my game took another positive step forward and I was pleased with the progress made during a satisfying season," the Czech said as he prepares to make his Abu Dhabi debut.
"For sure more people will be looking at me but I'm ready for that and the start of the new season with my debut in Abu Dhabi."
"I've been working hard in preparation for the year ahead and Abu Dhabi sounds like the ideal place to get match fit and check out the form of the other players."
"Matches with Marcos are always tough which is exactly what I need in the build-up to the Australian Open."
The Czech opened his season reaching the semi-finals in Brisbane as World No 21 and fell to Evgeny Korolev in the second round of the Australian Open.
In March, as No19 seed at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, Berdych progressed to the quarter-finals with wins over Florent Serra, Paul Verdasco and Viktor Troicki, but fell to Nadal in 2hrs 11 mins.
One of the high-points of 2010 for the Czech was, when as No 16 seed at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami, he beat Robin Soderling and then World No1 Roger Federer on his way to the finals.
"It's a great feeling to beat the No 1 player in the world, the best player so far," Berdych said later.
At Roland Garros, as No 15 seed, Berdych reached his first Grand Slam semi-finals, losing to Soderling which also brought a halt to his eight-match winning streak.
Berdych went to Wimbledon without playing a grass-court tournament in preparation and defeated Federer and World No 3 Novak Djokovic in back-to-back matches to become the first Czech player since Ivan Lendl in 1987 to reach the final.
"I hope this gives me a lot of confidence and some extra power to be stronger for next time, and who knows what's going to happen in the next few years," he said after his finals defeat to Nadal.
Berdych rose to a career-high No 6 on October 18 this year.
By Anthony Fernandes (Sport 360)