Top Czech tennis star Tomáš Berdych is playing for a place in his second Grand Slam final after getting further in the Australian Open men’s singles than ever before. But Berdych’s personal success could have a downside for his country.
Tomáš Berdych attained a personal goal when he won through to the last four of the Australian Open men’s singles in a four set duel with Spaniard David Ferrer. Australia was previously the missing link and the 28 year old can now boast that he has got to the semi-finals of all four Grand Slam tournaments.
This is what he said after the match: “Yes, it was the only one I was missing. I did it, after, I would say, many years and I am very pleased with that. I do have experience from Grand Slam semi-finals. So I hope I am going to find it somewhere and bring it on court.”
Berdych now has the opportunity to match his best ever performance on the top tennis stage and play in a Grand Slam final. He last achieved that at Wimbledon in 2010. The man now standing in Berdych’s way is Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who overcame current Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in a stunning five set battle.
After securing his last four place, the Czech said he would not stay up late to see that tussle. Berdych admitted that it was more or less the same to him who won as he had a similar success rate against both players.
While Wawrinka is ranked one place below Berdych’s seventh position in the men’s singles world rankings, the Czech does not have happy memories of most of their encounters across the net. Wawrinka has won eight of those ties compared with Berdych’s five victories.
Czechs will no doubt cheer on their countryman when he faces Wawrinka, but there could well be a downside to his personal success. Berdych has again hinted that he might well have to reconsider whether he commits to playing for his country after the next Davis Cup tie against the Netherlands in Ostrava.
After already helping the Czech team to two successive Davis Cup victories last year and in 2012 as well as his appearances over the previous decade, Berdych says he has perhaps earned a rest and should concentrate on his singles career. He clearly sees a Grand Slam title as his main ambition now.
An announcement on whether Berdych will take time out from his Davis Cup duties is expected after the Dutch encounter at the start of February. Looking ahead, it is difficult to see the Czech Republic pulling off a third Davis Cup success without their best player on court.
Martin Nekola: Czech Chicago and other untold stories of Czechs abroad
Czech President Zeman addresses Council of Europe
Czech Republic faces court action over freedom of movement
Czech pre-election battle plugs into war of words over lithium mining deal
Prague prepares for launch of annual light show