Berdych eyes revenge against Nadal in ATP final
London: Tomas Berdych will be on a revenge mission when the Wimbledon finalist takes on world number one Rafael Nadal in a make or break ATP World Tour Finals clash on Friday.
Berdych kept alive his hopes of making the semi-finals of the prestigious end-of-year event at London`s O2 Arena by beating Andy Roddick 7-5, 6-3, on Wednesday.
Now the Czech sixth seed must beat Nadal in his final Group A match and hope other results go his way to book a spot in the last four.
Berdych knows from bitter experience that accomplishing that task is easier said than done.
The 25-year-old was demolished by Nadal in straight sets in the Wimbledon final five months ago as his fairytale run at the All England Club came to a chastening end.
Berdych had beaten Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic en route to his first Grand Slam final, but the big-serving Czech had no answer for Nadal`s potent combination of poise and power.
Now he has a chance to at least partially avenge that result in a match that Nadal will also need to win to be sure of progressing.
"I think for me that`s the best schedule for this week, to be playing possibly the last match of the season against the world number one Rafael Nadal," Berdych said.
"If I can do well against the best player in the world then I have a chance to play more in this tournament.”
"I`m just looking forward to this match. Playing Rafa, it`s always a great experience, even if you play on clay, grass, indoor, outdoor, whatever.”
"He played a really tough match against Roddick and was able to come back and won the match. He still has to play one more match. Many things could happen."
The convoluted nature of the Tour Finals rules mean Berdych and his Group A rivals may well need to break out their calculators to work out who has qualified.
It could come down to the amount of sets or even games that each player has won, but Berdych refuses to muddle his thinking with mathematical equations just yet.
"That`s just the work of you guys in the media," he said. "You`re going to sit and be counting all the numbers, what`s going to happen if he wins five games, what happens if he won one set or something like that.”
"We are tennis players. We want to win every match. We are not gonna go there and be like Italian football players just waiting to win a few games and then we would be defending like all the time.”
"This is just a completely different sport. That`s not going to happen."
Berdych`s form has slumped significantly since reaching the Wimbledon final and the Czech had won just eight matches before beating Roddick.
He insists it will still be the best season of his career whatever happens over the next few days in London.
"I`m not going to be splitting the season into the halves or quarters or months or weeks," he said. "The season starts in January and finishes right now. For me, the season was good. It was my best season I ever played."