Tomas Berdych 22-01-18 interview

  • def. Fognini 6-1 6-4 6-4

Q. You must be very pleased with getting back-to-back quality wins like this, Del Potro and Fognini. How are you enjoying your tennis right now?
 TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm glad, you know, to be back in the shape that I am right now, which is finally healthy and that, you know, that makes the difference. You know, I can play freely and I can have joy from the tennis.

 I can enjoy the time being on court. Yeah, the results are coming with that.

Q. Must have been frustrating for you all those months where you weren't at your level and not healthy. Were you at some point doubting you could come back?
 TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, that was not really nice times, because really, basically last year was really a tough one, you know. Beginning was nothing really special, then already the problems with my lower back started. I managed to get healthy for the grass and for Wimbledon. Played well. After, the problems came back.

 So I was basically about one month of the season which I played well, and that was a bit frustrating. After, when I took decision just to stop and get myself back in the shape and get healthy, then I get a little bit more time. Finally I get good time for offseason and preparation, and now is everything paying off.

Q. Generally you have had a very consistent career. You have played lots of slams in a row. At the top end of men's tennis there are so many players who are older than they have been previously. Any thoughts on how long you might continue to play at a top level?
 TOMAS BERDYCH: As long as I'm healthy, then I think I can be still competitive way enough, which this one proves me that 100%.

 So as long as I'm able to keep myself really fit, then I'm going to go as far as I can. I don't put any goals or any predictions if it's gonna be a year, two, or if it's going to be after what I'm achieved or not or things like that.

 Really, my basic thing is or basic goal is just to have fun. Just to have joy from the tennis. If one day I'm going to wake up and I say, All right, that's it, then that's it.

Q. Has that always been the case, your goal is to enjoy yourself and try and improve or has it been trying to get a top 5 or 10 ranking? How's it worked over the years?
 TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, I think over the years you go through the different stages and different goals of the career and stuff like that.

 But I think now I'm in the stage where I just need to have fun from the tennis and enjoy it. With that, I'm very confident that the results gonna come up.

Q. Today's match, was it more straightforward than perhaps you might have thought?
 TOMAS BERDYCH: It's hard to judge. You know, I won in three sets, and that's it, you know. So if we're going to go play tomorrow again, it would be probably a different match, you know.

 You just have to take it as it is, and that's only speculations. You know, I was expecting a tough one, and I was ready for it. I had a good game plan, and I was able to execute it all the way through the three sets, so I did it way better today.

Q. Did you change something in your preseason preparation because of your lower back problems in the past, or did you change something what you do before the matches because of your problems you had in the past?
 TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I mean, the biggest change was that instead of having two weeks for my preparation, I had, like, two months. That's quite a big change. That was the biggest one that helped me the most.

Q. If you play Roger next round, you played him three times last year, what do you think change in his game since he coming back from this off-year, if you notice anything?
 TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, of course I notice, but to be honest, if there is any plan or any key to success, then I would like to know that.

 I'm definitely going to go out there, try my best, try to play good tennis, and believe myself that I can do it. I did it in the past, and also, I did it on the slams, so I know how it is to beat him for the best-of-five sets.

 But obviously it's extremely tough opponent, and, yeah, just to go out there and swing some balls.

Q. Can you also tell a bit about the relation to him all over the years, especially from the Laver Cup, he was, I think, in Prague with you. Can you tell off the court the relation what you had?
 TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, we know each other for quite a long time. Meeting each other almost every single week since 2004. It's quite a long time, and I don't think there used to be, like, those long, you know, the players are meeting each other for long time. And, you know, he's a great person, definitely.

 I had a chance to spend a little bit more time with him in Laver Cup and also because I have a quite close relationship with his coach Ivan. And it's great to see his personality off the court, as well, because I think we all are slightly in some kind of zone or bubble when you get to the tennis court, which I think it's fair enough, because there is lot of things which you have to try to block and put on the side, you know, and then it might look, you know, or it might create a slightly different personalities on us.

 But, you know, when you have a time and you're off court, I think we are all very different. It's great to meet Roger like that.