Just ahead of the Davis Cup final, the Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych tells reporters in Prague that Spain’s Nicolas Almagro isn’t as good as advertised.
Berdych, the No. 1 Czech, will likely face No. 2 Spaniard Almagro on Friday. Berdych and Almagro have a sour on-court history. At the 2012 Australian Open, Berdych refused to shake Almagro’s hand after his fourth-round victory because Almagro hit Berdych in the arm with a ball when he was at net. Berdych later refused to apologize, saying he believed that Almagro was trying to hit him in the face.
Berdych owns a 8-3 record against Almagro and has beaten him four out of the five times they played this year, including at the U.S. Open and most recently indoors in Stockholm.
“I played faced Almagro many times this year and won most of them,” Berdych said. “If he’s nominated, he will be the weak point on which we can build our victory. He’s missing that little something that distinguishes great players [from the rest]. He’s won smaller tournaments won this year. But he always has a chance if he plays.”
Berdych also took a swipe at the Spanish doubles team of Marc Lopez and Marcel Granollers, which just won the ATP World Tour Finals. Berdych will likely pair with Radek Stepanek in doubles. They have won all three of their Davis Cup matches together this year.
“You have to congratulate them, but now they are expected to do something different, so just tell them to hurry up and prepare,” Berdych said.