PLAYER NEWS 2014
Berdych From Sweet Tooth To Birthday Suit
by ATP Staff|
Tomas Berdych may have struggled with weight issues as a child, but one might never have guessed it from seeing his spread in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. The Czech shows off his muscular physique as he sheds his clothing and poses with just a racquet.
“I really loved the sweets,” Berdych shares in an interview with ESPN. “When I was a kid I had quite a problem with my weight. The good thing is that my parents caught it in the beginning; they didn't ignore it and let me become overweight.”
Now 28 years of age, Berdych stands at a solid 6’5”, 200 pounds and No. 6 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. But he isn’t immune from some good-natured teasing from his fitness trainer.
“He says because of my legs and upper body, I'm two people in one,” says Berdych. “But being heavier down low, rather than up top, is what has been working in my case. The ideal plan would be skinnier and lighter legs and a little bit more on the upper body. But it's not something where you go into a store and say, ‘I want that.’”
Though Berdych admits that his frame makes it trickier to play on grass, he won the 2007 Gerry Weber Open and also reached the Wimbledon final in 2010. He won his first-round match Monday at the All England Club, defeating Victor Hanescu 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.
“There are these low bounces and different movements, which is very difficult, especially for my height and weight,” he says. “When the surfaces change and I start to play on grass, I start to feel it in the lower back and the lower hamstring. But I manage to move well. My first Grand Slam final was at Wimbledon, so I have no complaints about the grass.”
Berdych follows in the footsteps of Americans John Isner, who played tennis in the buff for last year’s ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue, and James Blake, who joined cover girl Serena Williams in the inaugural issue five years ago. Serena’s sister, Venus Williams, features this year.
The magazine will hit newsstands on 11 July.