ABU DHABI, December 28, 2016
The fans and former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash met Tomas Berdych at The Galleria in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday afternoon. The 31-year-old Czech has arrived in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates to kick off the new season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, held at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City from 29-31 December.
“I am glad to be back in order to play some tennis,” told Berdych, who closed last season in the quarterfinals of the BNP Parisbas Masters in Paris, losing to Andy Murray. The World No. 10 enjoyed a couple of weeks off the courts. “I spent some time with my family in the Czech Republic. Two days ago, we went to the city and did some ice skating.”
Berdych, who missed to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, is now back the desert in order to get ready for the 2017 season. He has returned to one of his most favourite places and is looking forward to play in Australia again.
“This is my third time here in Abu Dhabi. It is a very special place for me with a tournament played in an unique format. The competition is very strong. Playing Rafa Nadal in the first round is not that common but here it is. You have to start well and play your best tennis. I am happy to start the season here. Then I am heading for Doha and Melbourne.”
Asked about his favourite surface, Berdych told: “I do like them all. If I have to pick one it will probably be grass. The atmosphere in Wimbledon is very special.” The Czech finished runner-up at the All England Championships in 2010 and advanced to the semis in 2016.
About his goals for 2017, Berdych stated: “For this week I just want to try to play some good matches in order to have a good start. Believing in yourself is important and maybe I will have a good shot at some of the bigger events, Grand Slams during the season.”