No strategy can rein in Rafa, say Berdych

London: No strategy can counter Rafa Nadal, a shellshocked Tomas Berdych said after a Wimbledon final pasting at the hands of the unstoppable Spaniard.

You just have play out of your skin and hope the Mallorcan has a bad day.

Unfortunately for the 24-year-old Czech, Nadal’s off-days come round about as often as British champions at the All England Club, and the world number one chose Sunday of all days to put on a clinical display of his tireless court menace.

“When he got a chance, he just took it,” a forlorn Berdych told reporters after his 6-3 7-5 6-4 defeat on Centre Court.

The man who had hit six-times champion Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic off the court earlier this week simply had no answer against Nadal.

The forehands that crunched off his racket in earlier rounds were returned with interest, and the Nadal serve maintained an invincible aura throughout the two-hour 13-minute match.

What was Berdych’s strategy going into his first grand slam final? Play his very best and hope for even better.

“It’s tough to say that I don’t have any strategy. I don’t know if you can say (there are any) weaker parts of him, there’s not many of them. You just try to play your best tennis.

“It’s not like that you know he’s doing something wrong or something like that. You know you’re going to face the toughest opponent in the draw.

“His biggest weapon is his left hand. There’s not many players like that. It’s really tough to find the right rhythm. I think more matches against him, I can do it better next time.”

After a maiden grand slam final, the first here for a Czech since Ivan Lendl in 1987, Berdych will move up to eighth in the world when the new rankings are published on Monday, and he saw no reason why his rich vein of form -- which started with a semi-final in Paris last month -- cannot continue.

“I can play well on all of those surfaces, which is really important for today’s tennis, I think this is my biggest weapon.”

Bureau Report