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Tomáš Berdych

Tomáš Berdych

Born in 1985 to Hana Berdychová and Martin Berdych, Tomáš Berdych is a professional tennis player. He is the top player to hail from the Czech Republic. His best attributes on the court are his forehand and serve. Berdych uses his huge legs to seemingly generate a tremendous amount of power with ease.

Of course, his six-foot-five-inch frame is a huge advantage when he is looking to serve big, and when his serve is on, he’s extremely difficult to beat. This has been a trend in recent times, tall players with big serves and good agility around the court have been dominating the men’s game.

The biggest achievement of his tennis career was probably making it to the final of the Wimbledon men’s singles event in 2010. Berdych, who was the 12th seeded player in the draw, couldn’t stop Nadal in the final.

Early playing history

Berdych started playing tennis when he was 5 years of age at the tennis center in his hometown of Valašské Meziříčí. It wasn’t long before he became a top junior, winning the Czech Republic U-12 Junior Title. He then moved to another city in Czechoslovakia to play against better opponents, including Jiri Novak and Radek Stepanek. A lot of good players have come from the Czech Republic, and practising with players of his calibre from a very early age would have helped his game out immensely.

Rise to the top

In 2002 he turned pro, winning two Futures events in his home country of the Czech Republic. By 2003, he reached a career-high no. 6 in the world as a junior. He has always been a clean and powerful hitter of the ball and built a reputation of steady improvement. The Czech can hit winners from anywhere on the court and is one of the first players that comes to mind when you think of flat baseline hitters that enable them to get their opponents off the court to set up a winner.

Tomáš Berdych has won 10 tournaments in total on the men’s circuit, although considering his talent he should probably have more titles if he was stronger mentally. This includes an ATP Masters 1000 title in Paris in 2005. His first ATP title came at the US Open after beating Tomas Behrend. He finished in the Top 20 men’s rankings by the end of 2005, and cracked the Top 10 in 2006. He has been consistently at the top of the men’s game since 2010. But as good as he has been, he is better known for perhaps the losses in his career. Most notably losing in the fourth round of the 2009 Australian Open over Roger Federer after giving up a two-sets-to-love lead.

In 2011, Berdych reached the quarterfinals of the Montreal Masters in Canada and followed that up with his first semifinal at the Cincinnati Masters, beating 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the quarter-final stage of the tournament.

In 2015, Berdych reached his career-high singles ranking of no. 4 in the world. A deserving reward for one of the most consistent players on the men’s tour, even if he hasn’t had a lot of success against the top 4. This is a player that hasn’t been ranked outside of the top 10 since reaching the finals of Wimbledon in 201, and he has been good on all surfaces, winning titles on hard, grass and clay courts.

Dani Vallverdu (Andy Murray’s former coach) came on board this year to give Berdych a fresh perspective and to crack his career-high ranking of no. 5, with immediate results to show for it. But the Czech-born Berdych desperately needs to win a Grand Slam title to shrug off the label of ‘the best player not to have won’ that was previously attached to Andy Murray before he finally got the job done at Flushing Meadows. No one questions Berdych’s talent, although there are some people that believe he is weak mentally.

At 30 years of age, Berdych is looking to accelerate his game and have one last crack at winning a slam before his career finishes. Many people expected him to consistently be a Grand Slam title contender, and that really hasn’t eventuated. Will he be a later bloomer like Stan Wawrinka and claim a major in his 30s? The next few years will tell a story.

Professional highlights

At the 2010 Wimbledon, 12th seed Berdych beat Federer in the quarter-final stage of the grand slam. It was a remarkable accomplishment, as Federer hadn’t lost a match at Wimbledon before the finals in 7 years.

After beating Federer, Berdych went on to defeat Djokovic in the semi-finals to set up a final against Rafael Nadal. It is the only grand slam final appearance he has made, but he prevailed to the Spaniard in the final hurdle.

Berdych was part of the Davis Cup team that won back-to-back victories for the Czech team in consecutive years, 2012 and 2013.

At the 2015 Australian Open, Berdych beat 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in his quarter-final. It was Tomáš Berdych’s first victory over him in 18 attempts.

At the Dubai Championships later in the year, Berdych became the 8th player on the ATP Tour to win 500 career matches, a demonstration of the Czech’s consistency on the men’s tour. Despite his seriousness on the court, Tomáš possesses a sense of humor, and had this to say after his 500th win.

Fun facts about Tomáš Berdych you might not know:

● He was dating female tennis pro, Lucie Safarova, before tying the knot with wife, Ester Satorova in July 2015.
● Berdych is a big ice hockey fan and follows the Detroit Red Wings.
● The Czech posed naked for ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue.
● He is the third Czech player in the Open Era to record 500 match wins.
● Featured in GQ’s 20 Most Stylish Athletes of 2013.

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