Tennis

It's all about aggression, says Berdych

Stanislas Wawrinka, after his win over Rohan Bopanna, took time off to tweet.Photo: R. Ragu

Stanislas Wawrinka, after his win over Rohan Bopanna, took time off to tweet.Photo: R. Ragu  

“I want to be aggressive and patient. Being defensive and running from side to side is not my game,” said Tomas Berdych after his first round demolition of Frederico Gil.

Having sat through benumbing baseline action for most parts of the first day, the crowd finally gave up on its parochial affections and warmed up to the spectacular, as Berdych added meat to his statement on Wednesday.

The straight-set win over Ivan Dodig in the second round saw the top seed feather up lobs and sink in drops, clamber into winners and use his potent serve to open points up nicely. He may not be particularly fond of running around the court, but he certainly enjoyed watching it from the other end.

Taking a break

The off-season is when the spotlight relents, leaving players to their own devices. Here is a sneak peek at what some of the stars are up to when the ATP calendar allows them a break:

Kei Nishikori: I went to Brad Gilbert's house (he has coached the likes of Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray), asked whether he could take me in and practised for four-five days. I came back home, spent a few days just on fitness and found myself participating in this tournament.

Janko Tipsarevic: I realised the need to be far more consistent. I need to fight for every point. Besides that, I spent some time with my family as I have had very little rest for the last two years. I worked a bit on my fitness and had a couple of practice sessions.

Tomas Berdych: Now that I have breached the top-10 bracket, I would be under more pressure. It was a good mix of rest and training in the off-season. The important thing for me is to stay healthy and fit to last the rigours of a tough season.

Jamie Murray: As I had a lot of tournaments, we couldn't get a vacation for a honeymoon after our marriage in October. So, I thought of going with her to Columbia, her homeland.

Tweeting Wawrinka

Wawrinka entertained questions from across the world in an interview on twitter.

Funniest player on Tour: I think it's Gael Monfils. He's a showman on and off the court. We have a good time during our practice sessions.

Three guys you don't like to play: Ivo Karlovic, John Isner. It's not fun against them. Also Nikolay Davydenko, he plays so well.

If you had to find a normal job, what would it be? I don't know if it's a normal job, but I would have liked to have been a cook.

Favourite actor: Denzel Washington. I'm a big fan of all his films, especially Training Day.

Favourite Grand Slam: A few years ago I would have said the French Open because I grew up on clay, but now I like Wimbledon a lot.

Who has a good chance against Federer and Nadal at the Australian Open? I think Andy Murray will be dangerous at the AO.

Favourite club: For sure No. 1 LHC, then LA Lakers basketball and Real Madrid. (LHC is HC Laussane, an ice-hockey club in Switzerland. LHC could also be Large Hadron Collider, but considering Wawrinka does not have a masters in particle physics, it is safer to go with the ice-hockey team).

Sticking to racquets

We are tennis players and we'll stick to the racquets — Berdych on the post-game ritual of hitting balls into the crowd with a cricket bat.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:32:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/Its-all-about-aggression-says-Berdych/article15507430.ece

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