Locker Room: Tomas Berdych
Originally published on: 13/09/13 00:00
You’ve become somewhat of a Twitter sensation since you joined. People seem surprised that you’re funny, what do you make of that?
Ha, yeah. That was kind of my aim to try to come up with something different because really I’m getting basically the same questions for so many years and now I can just bring to the people some different perspectives and a different view of me. I try to really be myself.
What’s been your greatest moment on the tennis court?
Well, I might split it between two things. The first one was winning Davis Cup, which was last year, and it was really an incredible moment. It doesn’t happen every year and it was really big. And then from my [individual] career I would say reaching the Wimbledon final. It is really something that still stands up but I hope that will change some day.
What was the reaction back home when you won the Davis Cup?
It was really huge because it was [the fi rst win in] 32 years and it was the first time that Czech Republic (since the break up of Czechoslovakia) won the Davis Cup. We were trying for it for so many years and fi nally we made it. Really, I mean, it was huge and it still is. We are lucky that we can play the semi-final (vs. Argentina), at least, at home this year because it would have been quite sad if we cannot [play] in front of our crowd as the defending champions. The people really love it and I think it’s good for the sport.
Who is more famous in the Czech Republic now, you or [Chelsea goalkeeper] Petr Cech?
Well, it’s tough to say who’s more famous in the Czech Republic. Football is big but he is based in London. But he is a star, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world so I cannot pick. Other people need to judge that.
What’s it like to fly the flag for a country like the Czech Republic that has such a rich tennis history?
I mean, it’s actually been kind of a pressure for us because the last Davis Cup winners [included] Ivan Lendl, who is such a star and then of course there’s been great, great results in the past but you know it’s a bit different this time and for myself I am trying to do the best I can and trying to raise the flag even higher.
Who were your idols growing up?
I actually never had one single name that I would follow but I really loved the sport so much that every time I saw the game on TV I would just sit down and watch. And then once I started to play everyone started comparing me with Lendl. I won my first title when he did but he was way, way farther than I am now, winning so many Slams and being No.1. So I’m in no way close to him but it is nice to at least in the small things be compared to him.
If you could change one thing about professional tennis what would it be?
Right now I would change the 25-second rule between the points. At least to cancel it to how it was before or make the rule that you can actually prove it. It’s like, imagine you are sitting in the car and you are speeding and you don’t have a speedometer and the police catch you and say, ‘You were 20 miles over,’ and you say, ‘Well how can I know, I don’t have a speedometer!’ How can I know 25 seconds have passed? I don’t have a clock in my mind, I don’t see any clock and then basically the referee can do whatever he wants. I hate this actually.
Do you think your best years are ahead of you still?
Well, except for one season so far, every single year was better and better in my career so I’m still hoping that I can improve. That’s actually my goal. That’s what I am trying to do every day to be better, to improve, so it’s still to come.