Tomas Berdych, Underappreciated Competitor

deBroglie

Professional
I see that Tomas Berdych gets a lot of hate on these forums and is generally direspected for being not as mentally strong as the other top players. Some even deride him as a "mug". I completely disagree with this, and believe that Tomas Berdych is a completely worthy player who has done well to hold his position at the top of the game for many years. He has also won some very competitive, high-stakes matches in the big events against some of the best players of the time. Here are some particularly interesting victories by Berdych.

1. Berdych d. Federer, Wimbledon 2011, Quarterfinal


Of course, Federer was past his prime by 2010. However, Berdych played an amazing match to take the match out of Federer's hands. He used his groundstrokes very well, whether it was blasting forehands past Federer or making difficult passes with his backhand. It was a classic Berdych performance. He followed up his win by defeating Djokovic in the semifinals, losing to Nadal in the final.

2. Berdych d. Nadal, Australian Open 2015, Quarterfinal


Nadal's 2015 was by no means his career year, but the Australian Open is early in the year, and this match occurred before Nadal faced any major problems with his confidence. Berdych brought one of his career-best performances. As usual, his groundstrokes were powerful and precise. He was able to dismantle Nadal's defense, winning in straight sets.

3. Berdych d. Murray, French Open 2010, Round of 16

I believe this is one of his most underappreciated performances. This match occurred before Murray was the force he is today on clay, but that takes nothing away from Berdych's sublime hitting. He crushed forehands past Murray with regularity, a difficult task against a fast mover on clay. He won in straight sets.

4. Berdych d. Federer, Miami 2010, Round of 16

Thanks to @merwy for suggesting this.


Federer struggled with Berdych until 2014, and this match was no different. Berdych's power once again overwhelmed Federer. Berdych was down match point in the final set tiebreak, having lost a point on a very close wide shot which he challenged to no avail, but managed to reel off 3 points in a row to win the match.

All in all, I believe Tomas Berdych receives unnecessary flak from fans. He is clearly not in the league of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, but he has put up incredible performances in his career. He has reached a Wimbledon final, 5 other major semifinals, and 9 other major quarterfinals. Mentally, the top players of today are so strong that they make everyone else look weak in comparison. He remains a strong player today who cannot be counted out by anyone. We must all appreciate Tomas Berdych.
 
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Newcomer

Hall of Fame
Starting from 2014, his head to heads:
0-7 vs Federer
0-7 vs Murray
0-10 vs Djokovic (2-25 overall LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL)
0-3 vs Wawrinka
4-19 overall vs Nadal, including 17 loses in a row
Yes, that's what I call a top player!
 

Sport

Legend
Starting from 2014, his head to heads:
0-7 vs Federer
0-7 vs Murray
0-10 vs Djokovic (2-25 overall LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL)
0-3 vs Wawrinka
4-19 overall vs Nadal, including 17 loses in a row
Yes, that's what I call a top player!
Berdych had several match points against Federer in Miami 2017. Why do you underrate him? Oh yes, because Nadal lost to him and this is Federer-Fanboys Warehouse.
 

Newcomer

Hall of Fame
Berdych had several match points against Federer in Miami 2017. Why do you underrate him? Oh yes, because Nadal lost to him and this is Federer-Fanboys Warehouse.
And even then he found a way to choke. Read the head to heads again, it's in front of your eyes. Take your time, don't rush.
 

JMR

Hall of Fame
Results are relative. Players earn respect when their achievements are within the range indicated by their inborn talent and athletic ability. Overachievers often get singled out for special praise, because presumably they must have worked extra-hard to win more than their skills promised. Underachievers typically receive withering criticism for laziness, mental fragility, lack of passion, and/or myriad other "sins of the mug." Berdych has had a very respectable professional career. Making a Wimbledon final and appearing regularly in the Top 10 are excellent results. Unfortunately for him, he seemed capable of more, perhaps much more, as the "greatest hits" match wins that you mention demonstrate. Hence, underachievement it is for him.
 

merwy

Legend
#2 is absolute bullcrap and I'm not a Nadal fan in any way. He was playing so badly that AO, it was laughable. Didn't he almost lose to Smyczek of all people?

There are definitely better examples out there. Take him beating Nadal in Madrid and shushing the crowd. Take him beating Fed at IW or Miami with a MP down in the deciding tiebreak or him beating Djokovic in a great comeback on a clay m1000. These last two are perfect examples of his mental strength that he sometimes shows.

Also, the fact that this thread is an obvious knee jerk reaction to Berdych winning an exho match makes it even harder to take this seriously.
 

deBroglie

Professional
#2 is absolute bullcrap and I'm not a Nadal fan in any way. He was playing so badly that AO, it was laughable. Didn't he almost lose to Smyczek of all people?

There are definitely better examples out there. Take him beating Nadal in Madrid and shushing the crowd. Take him beating Fed at IW or Miami with a MP down in the deciding tiebreak or him beating Djokovic in a great comeback on a clay m1000. These last two are perfect examples of his mental strength that he sometimes shows.
What Nadal did in the second round is irrelevant. He had completely dismantled Kevin Anderson in his previous match. His play was average that day, but Berdych was great.

Federer was awful against Benneteau and Malisse (set 1) in Wimbledon 2012, but he crushed Youzhny and put up good performances in the semifinal and final.

You're right, I should include the Miami match where Berdych channeled his anger to crush some shots and win the match.

This isn't a response to the Hurlingham match; I just feel that people have been absolutely spoiled by how good Federer, Nadal, Djokovic are, and completely forget what an average-top-player is actually expected to do.
 
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Thundergod

Professional
It's because Berdych retired and became Bendych around 2014 like someone said. Before then, he used to give the Big 4 good matches at the very least. Now, I think he idolizes them too much (Fedal for sure, not sure about the others).

Overall, he's like that guy in your group that is always the butt of all the jokes even though everyone knows he's good.
 

Newcomer

Hall of Fame
#2 is absolute bullcrap and I'm not a Nadal fan in any way. He was playing so badly that AO, it was laughable. Didn't he almost lose to Smyczek of all people?

There are definitely better examples out there. Take him beating Nadal in Madrid and shushing the crowd. Take him beating Fed at IW or Miami with a MP down in the deciding tiebreak or him beating Djokovic in a great comeback on a clay m1000. These last two are perfect examples of his mental strength that he sometimes shows.

Also, the fact that this thread is an obvious knee jerk reaction to Berdych winning an exho match makes it even harder to take this seriously.
Ok, he beat Djokovic 2 times out of 27. Such a great achievement. :rolleyes:
 

coupergear

Professional
He's a Euro-whiner in the tradition of Lendl, but without the revolutionary game. Berd a big banger with limited racket skills. He's overachieved if anything.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Berdych is a placeholder just happy to make QFs and SFs then move on to the next tournament/paycheck.

I've seldom seen any real competitive drive from him. If he had more fire in the belly he might have a slam or two.
 

merwy

Legend
Ok, he beat Djokovic 2 times out of 27. Such a great achievement. :rolleyes:
??? Are you an offended Djokovic fan?

I was just saying that it was an amazing comeback. Part of what makes it amazing is because Djokovic is such a great player. And I was only talking about that single match. Not his full h2h against Novak
 

Newcomer

Hall of Fame
??? Are you an offended Djokovic fan?

I was just saying that it was an amazing comeback. Part of what makes it amazing is because Djokovic is such a great player. And I was only talking about that single match. Not his full h2h against Novak
You know, if you meet a player 27 times then you should win at least once. That doesn't decline the fact that Berdych is a mental midget. Djokovic must be celebrating every time when he sees Berdych in his quarter. Easy path.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
Berdych has had a fantastic career and has many high level victories and some great tournament wins.

He is still a mug.
 
I think Berdych aged poorly and got a lot less intimidating but there was a window from 2010-2012 where I was legitimately nervous about Federer playing against him. Probably back in the day before that I was never worried, then during that time he was quite good and quite fit. Then after that he kind of regressed back to that haphazard challenger.
 

Newcomer

Hall of Fame
I think Berdych aged poorly and got a lot less intimidating but there was a window from 2010-2012 where I was legitimately nervous about Federer playing against him. Probably back in the day before that I was never worried, then during that time he was quite good and quite fit. Then after that he kind of regressed back to that haphazard challenger.
Yes, I was surprised Federer had so many problems against him. However, since then Berdych is just a loser. Nadal should be really ashamed of himself for losing to him even in exhibition.
 

merwy

Legend
I think Berdych aged poorly and got a lot less intimidating but there was a window from 2010-2012 where I was legitimately nervous about Federer playing against him. Probably back in the day before that I was never worried, then during that time he was quite good and quite fit. Then after that he kind of regressed back to that haphazard challenger.
Seeing the important matches that he lost to him in that time period, you had every right to be nervous. I still get nervous when he faces him or Tsonga. I don't forget that easily.
 

jaystarhair

New User
All the top guys are peeing themselves with excitement to play Berdych in the semis or even quarters of a slam. In their minds he is an easy win if they are just playing decent.
 
Seeing the important matches that he lost to him in that time period, you had every right to be nervous. I still get nervous when he faces him or Tsonga. I don't forget that easily.
There were times he lost too that he gave the other guy fits and all they could handle. I remember a peak Rafa being pushed pretty hard by Tomas too at the AO
 

Mike Sams

Legend
Berdych has exceptional talents and capabilities. There have been many instances where he's been THIS close to beating all of the big 4 more often than he has. He was 1 point away from going up 2 sets to love on Nadal at AO 2012. He had Federer on the ropes at 2 sets down at AO 2009. He's gotten close to Djokovic a few times even during Djokovic's god-level form. He seems to show no real fight at other times. Also he doesn't seem like he improves his game at all. Even Federer and Nadal adjusted their games respectively and made small improvements over the seasons in order to evolve. Berdych is the same guy he always was. Big hitter off both wings but no real evolution in this decade. He doesn't adjust his strategy or patterns at all. He doesn't come into the net to shorten points. He doesn't do much volleying or different serve variations or anything. He doesn't try to use angles, try to open up the court and attack. He stays on the baseline for the most part. It's like if a player has played Berdych once, then that player already knows what to expect from Berdych for the next 20 years. LOL
 

Newcomer

Hall of Fame
??? Are you an offended Djokovic fan?

I was just saying that it was an amazing comeback. Part of what makes it amazing is because Djokovic is such a great player. And I was only talking about that single match. Not his full h2h against Novak
By the way, I hate Djokovic. This is why Berdych makes me mad every time he gifts Djokovic easy wins.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Yes, I was surprised Federer had so many problems against him. However, since then Berdych is just a loser. Nadal should be really ashamed of himself for losing to him even in exhibition.
Berdych was a top ten player for a long time. I'm sure it was useful for Rafa to play an exhibition match against Berdych today to practice for Wimbledon. Vamos Rafa!
 

Newcomer

Hall of Fame
Berdych was a top ten player for a long time. I'm sure it was useful for Rafa to play an exhibition match against Berdych today to practice for Wimbledon. Vamos Rafa!
Starting from 2014, his head to heads:
0-7 vs Federer
0-7 vs Murray
0-10 vs Djokovic (2-25 overall LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL)
0-3 vs Wawrinka
4-19 overall vs Nadal, including 17 loses in a row
 

Mike Sams

Legend
BTW, Berdych has the most muscular thighs on the tour by a mile. I wonder how he even moves around the way he does with those tree trunks.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Starting from 2014, his head to heads:
0-7 vs Federer
0-7 vs Murray
0-10 vs Djokovic (2-25 overall LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL)
0-3 vs Wawrinka
4-19 overall vs Nadal, including 17 loses in a row
You are not capable of changing the fact that Berdych has been a top 10 player.
 

merwy

Legend
Berdych has exceptional talents and capabilities. There have been many instances where he's been THIS close to beating all of the big 4 more often than he has. He was 1 point away from going up 2 sets to love on Nadal at AO 2012. He had Federer on the ropes at 2 sets down at AO 2009. He's gotten close to Djokovic a few times even during Djokovic's god-level form. He seems to show no real fight at other times. Also he doesn't seem like he improves his game at all. Even Federer and Nadal adjusted their games respectively and made small improvements over the seasons in order to evolve. Berdych is the same guy he always was. Big hitter off both wings but no real evolution in this decade. He doesn't adjust his strategy or patterns at all. He doesn't come into the net to shorten points. He doesn't do much volleying or different serve variations or anything. He doesn't try to use angles, try to open up the court and attack. He stays on the baseline for the most part. It's like if a player has played Berdych once, then that player already knows what to expect from Berdych for the next 20 years. LOL
The funny thing is that he is the only semi-top player I can think of that keeps saying over and over again that he still believes he can win a slam. Meanwhile he doesn't show any inclination to modify his game in such a way that he can win that slam. Shows you that barking dogs don't bite.

Oh and don't forget he once said he had the best fh on the tour
 

Paul Harman

Professional
Most people on TTW don't like tennis, they like following the players who win a lot. So anyone who isn't winning is automatically labelled a mug. As Trump would say, it's very SAD. When the top 4/5 retire in the next few years maybe people will start appreciating tennis for what it is again. TTW might be a very different place then. In many ways the "big four" concept and having the 3 best players for a long time playing at the same time is very detrimental to tennis overall. Basically these "huhr, look at Berd, what a mug" fan boys have been spoiled for so long that anyone who doesn't measure up is slated.

Some people on here are very well informed and write interesting posts about tennis. It's just the signal-to-noise ratio of the moronic posts is so high that you don't often get to see them.

 

jaystarhair

New User
Berdych is frustrating in the sense he has been in the top 10 for so long, and achieved so little, relatively speaking, with that. Not only slamless which is somewhat understandable in the era he plays in I guess, but only 1 slam final. Only 1 Masters title when he was 19. By contrast even someone like Cilic who is super inconsistent and spent way less time in the top 10 and top 6 than Berdych, but still managed a slam, has a recent Masters and will probably get another (Masters) at some point. He just has such an obvious plateau that it is a bit frustrating to see someone like that in so many quarterfinals over the years since it just dulls the overall vibe of things. Not his fault, he is what he is, but he is the best example of a truly generic and limited top 10 regular that you could even script.

His playing style is also super boring. He is a B+ ball basher, and not much else. He is like a much poorer version of a hot Wawrinka or healty Del Potro at best, and that is even a suspect evaluation considering those guys know how to use angles, move, finish points at the end (Stan atleast) and do other things besides just ball bash, despite that both on a good day do that much better than even a top form Berdych is capable of. He is also completely incapable of winning any match he is not able to overpower or outsteady his opponent, hence why he has lost something like 8 matches straight to the bigger hitting Wawrinka since Stan became his new improved self from mid 2013 onwards, why when he played a zoning Cilic several times in the second half of 2014 he was made to look helpless with no plan B (as he doesnt have one in that situation) and why opponents whose defense he cant penetrate like Djokovic and Nadal he loses every single match to basically. He is also pretty arrogant and full of it, for someone who is noted as the top guys favorite pigeon.
 
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StANDAA

Legend
Great potential killed by absurd mental weakness. One of the biggest underachievers in the last decade who acts like a spoiled little brat.
 

Gazelle

Legend
I think Berdych aged poorly and got a lot less intimidating but there was a window from 2010-2012 where I was legitimately nervous about Federer playing against him. Probably back in the day before that I was never worried, then during that time he was quite good and quite fit. Then after that he kind of regressed back to that haphazard challenger.
Yes, in that time Federer and Murray had to watch out for him. But Djokovic and Nadal were laughing each time they saw him in their draw.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
How come no one has listed the match he beat Fed at CInci in straight sets ?

Fed had no answers to the booming FH that afternoon.

Fed played crap at USO that match. Same with Wimb as well .
 

Newcomer

Hall of Fame
How come no one has listed the match he beat Fed at CInci in straight sets ?

Fed had no answers to the booming FH that afternoon.

Fed played crap at USO that match. Same with Wimb as well .
I remember that. And on the next day he choked a set against Djokovic from 5-3 up, then withdrew. That was the day when I understood how mentally weak this player is.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
I see that Tomas Berdych gets a lot of hate on these forums and is generally direspected for being not as mentally strong as the other top players. Some even deride him as a "mug". I completely disagree with this, and believe that Tomas Berdych is a completely worthy player who has done well to hold his position at the top of the game for many years. He has also won some very competitive, high-stakes matches in the big events against some of the best players of the time. Here are some particularly interesting victories by Berdych.

1. Berdych d. Federer, Wimbledon 2011, Quarterfinal


Of course, Federer was past his prime by 2010. However, Berdych played an amazing match to take the match out of Federer's hands. He used his groundstrokes very well, whether it was blasting forehands past Federer or making difficult passes with his backhand. It was a classic Berdych performance. He followed up his win by defeating Djokovic in the semifinals, losing to Nadal in the final.

2. Berdych d. Nadal, Australian Open 2015, Quarterfinal


Nadal's 2015 was by no means his career year, but the Australian Open is early in the year, and this match occurred before Nadal faced any major problems with his confidence. Berdych brought one of his career-best performances. As usual, his groundstrokes were powerful and precise. He was able to dismantle Nadal's defense, winning in straight sets.

3. Berdych d. Murray, French Open 2010, Round of 16

I believe this is one of his most underappreciated performances. This match occurred before Murray was the force he is today on clay, but that takes nothing away from Berdych's sublime hitting. He crushed forehands past Murray with regularity, a difficult task against a fast mover on clay. He won in straight sets.

4. Berdych d. Federer, Miami 2010, Round of 16

Thanks to @merwy for suggesting this.


Federer struggled with Berdych until 2014, and this match was no different. Berdych's power once again overwhelmed Federer. Berdych was down match point in the final set tiebreak, having lost a point on a very close wide shot which he challenged to no avail, but managed to reel off 3 points in a row to win the match.

All in all, I believe Tomas Berdych receives unnecessary flak from fans. He is clearly not in the league of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, but he has put up incredible performances in his career. He has reached a Wimbledon final, 5 other major semifinals, and 9 other major quarterfinals. Mentally, the top players of today are so strong that they make everyone else look weak in comparison. He remains a strong player today who cannot be counted out by anyone. We must all appreciate Tomas Berdych.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
The time has come to list the Berdych humiliations and rank them. My candidate for top dog:

Who could forget the infamous stare down and comment under his breath at Auz 2015 SF with Murray after a tight first set? Berdych had just won the first set in a tie-breaker and was not happy that Murray was talking to his scab coach Vallverdu (Berdy hired him from under Murray). Many stare downs in the first set and victory, but then Murray bageled Bendy and sent him packing after the net incident.
4/2015 SF Australian Open Hard Andy Murray Tomas Berdych 6-7(6) 6-0 6-3 7-5 1.77 - 2.22

The odds were close on that debacle.:eek:
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Another beauty was the match with Murray last year at Paris:
44/2016 QF Paris Masters I Hard Andy Murray Tomas Berdych 7-6(9) 7-5

The scoreline doesn't show it, but Bendy was up 6-1 in the first set breaker and lost it.:eek: This was much more about Murray goating then Bendy bending, but still the hapless Bendych could not seal the deal in the first set and in his heart of hearts he knows he couldn't come up with the big serve when he needed it.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Another lesser, but recent example from the Lyon final:
20/2017 F Lyon Clay Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Tomas Berdych 7-6(2) 7-5 2.00 - 1.80

Bendy was favored in the match, but couldn't break Tsonga. The first set ended on a double fault and the 2nd set featured a late fold up on serve at 5 all that handed the poor returning Tsonga the match.:confused:
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Here's one I didn't see much of:
15/2017 R16 Monte Carlo Masters Clay Marin Cilic Tomas Berdych 6-2 7-6(0) 2.00 - 1.72

Bendy on clay versus Cilic; favored and goes down 7-0 in the 2nd set breaker.
Berdych was really good on clay even as late as 2015.:confused:
 
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jaystarhair

New User
Yes, in that time Federer and Murray had to watch out for him. But Djokovic and Nadal were laughing each time they saw him in their draw.
Yeah he was a tough opponent for Federer and Murray for a period of time, although even that was in a very restricted time window after and before other long lap dog periods, and wasnt sustained. He was never a tough opponent for Djokovic and Nadal really though, he could have worn a pigeon costume his entire career for any match against those two.
 
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