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Tomas Berdych: Always Prepared

Berdych© Getty ImagesTomas Berdych has won titles on all four surfaces.

World No. 6 Tomas Berdych is considered one of the most powerful players on the ATP World Tour. The Czech boasts an all-court game, winning titles on hard court, grass, clay and carpet and, as a former Wimbledon finalist, knows all about the obstacles you need to overcome in the five-set grind of Grand Slams. 

In this Compeed Form & Fitness feature, the 28-year-old Berdych talks about the regular challenges tennis players face when changing surfaces and conditions and how he stays match ready during the unpredictable nature of outdoor tournaments.

When you change surfaces, are there parts of your body that feel it more and which need protecting?
Yes, of course. It’s different for the movement, especially for me because I’m a tall guy and it’s more difficult. Especially the change from clay to grass, that’s the biggest change that you can feel in your body because on the grass you have to really move different and be really low, especially for me even more. That means that you feel it more in your hamstrings and lower back as well. 

You have to do different exercises to be ready for this and be prepared. It goes hand in hand that as I’m tall, and you need to bend very low and bend the knees, that you use your legs more.

During a rain delay, or in instances where you’re not sure exactly when your match is going to start, how do you stay warm and match ready?
It really depends on the forecast. It’s hard to always find out how it’s going to be, but if it looks like it’s going to be a long time, you go for a complete change: stay dry, take the ankle tape off as though the match were over. 

Then, when the time comes, you go through the same preparation again. If the rain is on and off, or you expect that it’s going to be much faster, I just try to stay warm, change my t-shirt, and my shorts if I’ve got really sweaty.

If it’s cold, it’s different. Like if you play in the States, it’s a lot more humid and you might get a thunderstorm. So you just really need to stay dry and warm, nothing special. Just sit there, try and find some quiet spot.

Which player on tour do you think…
Has the best footwork? Novak Djokovic
Has the greatest muscular endurance? Rafael Nadal
Is the quickest? Gael Monfils
Is the most flexible? Gael Monfils
Has the strongest core? Rafael Nadal
Has the best balance? Andy Murray

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