Abu Dhabi: Tomas Berdych hopes to start the new tennis season with a bang in Abu Dhabi at the end of this month, after finishing the last campaign with a team triumph to savour.
The Czech will be appearing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sports City from December 27-29, just weeks after he led the Czech Republic to an historic win in the 100th Davis Cup over favourites Spain in Prague. It was his country’s first Davis Cup trophy since playing as Czechoslovakia in 1971.
The landmark success meant the world number six completed his best ever season as a tennis player — and he wants more of the same in the UAE.
“Winning the Davis Cup for my country on home soil is a special way to end the season, especially as it was the 100th final and Spain were the favourites. Personally I am very happy to finish the year in the world’s top six and I hope to carry my form through to Abu Dhabi, which is a great tournament to begin the new season.”
Berdych’s Davis Cup win topped a successful season, with wins in Stockholm and Montpellier and a runners-up spot in the Masters 1000 event in Madrid, where he lost in three close sets to Roger Federer. The Czech giant’s rivalry with Spaniard David Ferrer is set to resume straight away in Abu Dhabi, as Berdych will play him on the first day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
“As the Davis Cup proved, playing David is always tough. I’m at 6 in the world and he’s at 5. We’ve played nine times now and I’ve won 3. It’s always close [between us] and the crowd in Abu Dhabi will be in for a great game on day one.”
Berdych returns to Abu Dhabi for his second Mubadala World Tennis Championship, having played in the January 2011 championship, and also visited the emirate in October to take part in a number of community coaching clinics:
“I came to Abu Dhabi in October to launch the Mubadala’s Tennis in Schools and Community Cup initiatives and had a really good time meeting all the kids. Tennis is becoming increasingly popular in the UAE and Abu Dhabi is a great place to play the game.”
Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer will battle it out for a place in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship semi-finals, hitting the court straight after the opening match between Andy Murray and Janko Tipsarevic. US Open champion Murray and the Serbian world number nine Tipsarevic will play the tournament opener at 5pm on Thursday, December 27, providing UAE tennis fans with a full evening of floodlit tennis action. A win for Berdych would mean a semi-final on Friday, December 28 with world number one Novak Djokovic.
The tournament will also feature the eagerly awaited return of Rafael Nadal, who has been sidelined with injury since May.
More details about the the Championship’s expanded Tennis Village, including the hugely popular entertainment, family picnic area and Mubadala Interactive Zone, will be revealed as the excitement builds ahead of one of the UAE’s most exciting sporting weekends.
For fans wishing to enjoy the ultimate VIP experience, premier hospitality packages are available. The premier package includes courtside seating, exquisite gourmet food in the hospitality area, premium parking, and access to exclusive Q&A sessions with the world’s top tennis players.
Tciekts are available now at www.thinkflash.ae or call 800 FLASH (35274).
For more information, visit www.mubadalawtc.com.