Chennai: World Number six Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic, the top seeded at the Chennai Open 2011, hopes to improve on his previous performance in India when he finished runner-up in 2006 Kingfisher Open in Mumbai.
“Memories (of my first Indian visit) are nice. I lost to (Dimitry) Tursunov 7-6 in the third set. I’d like to keep my winning line (and will) try to do even better,” said Berdych.
“I’ve changed quite a lot and have acquired more experience. I am a much better player now,” he added.
The 25-year-old, although reached the final of Wimbledon and the season-ending ATP World Tour Masters in Miami, but could not win either of the titles, yet the Czech star is keen to take positives from those defeats.
“I reached the finals of two major tournaments but could not win. However, I am happy that I reached a Grand Slam final. I think it was a great result,” said Berdych.
When asked to comment on his record against world number 1 Rafael Nadal, against whom he has lost his last eight matches, Berdych said, “Right now probably he deserves to be number one. In my opinion he is the one who has improved the most out of all current players.
“(Beating Nadal) is not going to happen all the time, but I think I’ll beat him at least once in the foreseeable future,” he said.
Berdych also said that the fact that Nadal was a left-handed worked in the Spaniard’s favour.
“His big weapon is the fact that he is a leftie. We don’t play those kind of players often. We’re not used to it and it is not that easy,” he said.
However, Berdych, who has won two of his three matches against world number 2 Roger Federer last year, said beating the former No 1 player in Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2010 was special.
“We all know about the memories of Roger on Centre Court,” he said.
Berdych said he would pick Wimbledon if asked to choose a title he could win this year.
“My first semifinal in a Grand Slam came on clay (French Open 2010), which I never expected. Then came Wimbledon (where I lost in the final to Nadal). You cannot choose, but if it has to be one, it is London,” he said.
The tennis star, who is on his first visit to the city, said he opted to participate in the Chennai Open because “it is on the way to Melbourne,” where the Australian Open will take place.
Asked whether the ATP schedule is tough, he said, “There have been discussions and I’ve heard that the next season (2012) is going to be two weeks shorter.”
Berdych said his goals for the season are to “stay healthy, fit and be prepared.”