Berdych Remains Hungry After Doha Comeback
Tomas Berdych’s run to the final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open was impressive in itself, as the 33-year-old beat two seeded players in Fernando Verdasco and Marco Cecchinato. But the former World No. 4’s efforts in Doha stand out even more because it was his first tournament since the Fever-Tree Championships last June, as he missed time due to injury.
“I think it was a great week overall. Coming after six months of not playing, my expectations were completely on a different level,” Berdych said. “But tennis is a beautiful sport and all the experience that I had from the past and all the hard work that I did throughout my pre-season just pays off and I'm really happy with the way the week went."
With that being said, the Czech star knows that this is only the beginning of his comeback. Berdych might have come within a set of capturing his first title since Shenzhen in 2016, but there are plenty of tournaments and opportunities ahead.
“I have to stay very humble, very patient because it's been just the first week of the season,” Berdych said. “So there's no need for any huge expectations and stuff like that.”
Nevertheless, it was important for Berdych to get plenty of matchplay in ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open. And the Czech did just that by playing five matches. Berdych has historically fared well in Melbourne, reaching at least the quarter-finals in seven of the past eight years. So Berdych is staying especially focused, even if the major will be just his second tournament back.
“[I just have to] keep on going, doing it week-by-week, match-by-match,” Berdych said. “Australia is one of my favorite Slams. I always did well. So I'm looking forward to the place and I will try to carry on on this momentum and play a great tournament there.”
It was a strong opening week for Berdych in Doha. But he will not take anything for granted. After all, he does not want to finish any tournament runner-up.
“I'm not satisfied because satisfied would be after winning a title.”