Berdych Targets ‘Risky’ Business

Tennis Updates:

In his 12th consecutive Indian Wells appearance, Tomas Berdych is keen to make an impact at the BNP Paribas Open. Despite having started 2016 with a 12-5 record, the 2013 semi-finalist believes that he still has more to give.

“I’m trying to work on being a bit more aggressive, a bit more risky,” said Berdych, No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. “I have to do a little extra to raise my level and to do better.”

The powerful baseliner has made the quarter-finals or better in each of his four tournaments on the year, but has yet to reach a final and is looking for his first title since 2015 Stockholm (d. Sock). Another good reason for the 6’5” Czech to take a few more chances than usual: his lone ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title came in Paris in 2005, when a free-swinging 20 year-old Berdych earned his second ATP World Tour title by downing Ivan Ljubicic in five sets. The following decade brought 10 more ATP World Tour titles and a Wimbledon final, but Berdych was unable replicate his Paris feat on a big stage.

“Since you’re coming from Europe, you have a few more days before the tournament starts, so you can really take your time to prepare the way you want,” said Berdych, who helped the Czech Republic move into the Davis Cup quarter-finals with an away win in Germany last week. “The conditions are quite fast but it suits my game. I can play aggressively [here].”

Berdych, who has made the trip to the Californian desert every year since his debut in 2005, noted the tournament’s commitment to serving both players and fans.

“The tournament tries very hard to listen to the players and to make us feel at home,” Berdych said.

“To have an event like this, it’s really nice. The organisers work really hard to promote the event and to get a lot of visitors here, which is very important. It’s always one of the best-attended events of the year.”



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