Berdych Unveils New Weapon Of Choice
by Kate Flory|
World No. 9 Tomas Berdych debuted his new HEAD racquet, the YouTek™ IG Instinct MP, during his opening second-round win over Alexandr Dolgopolov on Wednesday at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Berdych is contesting his first tournament of the Olympus US Open Series and is now three wins shy of his 300th tour-level victory.
Just what goes into producing a new racquet? How long does it take to adjust before it can be used in a match? Last year’s Wimbledon runner-up, Berdych, explains to ATPWorldTour.com, "I go to HEAD and say I want this, this, this, and then they try to make it. Or I will say, I want to see what you have, what you can present me with, and then I choose from those. So I think it was a bit of both those ways.
"Weight and balance is really important for the racquet. I’m a bit sensitive about my grips, which are made from Roman Prokesh, who works with HEAD, and they are trying to find the best way. He’s trying to make the special grips for me, which are just for myself. From the racquet part, that’s all you can get.
"For me, the most important thing is the first feeling of the racquet," the Czech player continues. "I take the racquet and just hit a couple of shots with it, and immediately I can decide if the racquet is good or not. In my case with the HEAD racquets, I would say it takes four or five days to adjust. It’s been really quick because for me it’s not a matter of time, it’s just a matter of the feeling. As long as I take the racquet, and the racquet is good and I feel it good, then I can go and start playing with it almost the next day."
Discussing how the new model helps his game, the 25-year-old Berdych said, "I think the racquet is really fast, which helps my game and my style that I like to play, to be really aggressive on court. But also I can find a lot of control in the racquet which helps me not to be too aggressive and make a lot of mistakes, but still have control of the court. With today’s game, in which everything goes faster and you need to hit stronger shots, it helps a lot.
"I’m really happy that I could make this change, and be working with the new guys, new team. I think it’s going to be working really nice."
The new HEAD Instinct range will be available for fans to buy in time for the US Open at the end of the month and allows players to create power in their strokes much more easily, due to better manoeuvrability of the racquet during the swinging movement and less energy loss at ball impact. They also feature HEAD's innovative Innegra™ technology, which reduces vibration on ball impact and allows for more control.