Berdych to play at Queen`s ahead of Wimbledon
London: World number seven Tomas Berdych said on Tuesday he would compete at the Queen`s Club tournament in June in order to give himself "the best possible chance" of winning Wimbledon a month later.
The Queen`s event, which takes place just a few miles from Wimbledon in south-west London, has long been regarded as a leading warm-up event for the last of the four major championships in tennis still to be played on grass.
Berdych, Wimbledon runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2010 after beating both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on his way to the final, said: "My next goal is to go one better, one higher than I did when I reached the final of Wimbledon.
"That`s my main goal for the rest of my career," the giant 28-year-old Czech added.
"It`s a really big step, and it`s going to take a lot of work every day to get there, but that`s what I`m going to try to do.
"I think playing at Queen`s gives me the best possible chance. I would also love to lift that beautiful Aegon Championships trophy."
Berdych has joined reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in confirming his participation at Queen`s from June 9-15.
"I have to say that I have never played on a better grass court than at the Aegon Championships, and The Queen`s Club itself is just beautiful," said Berdych, a semi-finalist at this year`s Australian Open before winning an ATP tour event in Rotterdam.
New tournament director Ross Hutchins welcomed the involvement of Berdych, a quarter-finalist at last year`s Queen`s event, by saying: "Tomas is one of the most exciting players in the game and it`s great news he has pledged to return to the Aegon Championships.
"His raw power and booming game style are a sight to behold and I know the crowds at The Queen`s Club will enjoy watching him play."