If you have been a long-time reader of RR or follow me faithfully on Twitter (which, let’s face it, you know you do), then you know that I am not the biggest fan of Mr. Berdych. I think he has a poor attitude, is frightfully inconsistent for a player of his level, and is all around rather hard to like. And since he will be playing Djokovic next round at the Australian Open, I probably won’t be saying much about Tomas over the next couple days that’s very nice. Now it’s my New Year’s resolution to be nicer in general, so I was thinking, am I being unfair? Berdy has many fans; there must be something good about the guy. So I have decided to find 5 nice things to say about Berdych. That’s not too much to ask for, so here we go:
1. He keeps it real.
You will not get canned PR-approved answers in Berdych’s press conferences. Asked what he thought about Almagro when he playing him in Davis Cup and he said, “He’s missing that little something that distinguishes great players.” That’s a dis and also implies that he is one of those great players. Arrogance and insolence in one sentence is rather impressive.
And when he was upset with Nico for bumping him during their match at the 2012 AO, he refused to shake his hand at net. Some would say that Berdy’s behavior shows his lack of sportsmanship and class. But in an age when everyone is afraid to say what’s really on their mind to prevent scandal and not rock the boat, isn’t it refreshing that Tomas doesn’t play that game?
2. His Facebook page doesn’t suck.
Instead of bland statements about being really happy about winning his last match or just telling us what tournament he’s playing, we actually get to see some of Tomas’s personality. He posts YouTube clips of of music he’s into (though Muse? Really? Oh right, I’m being nice…) and the behind the scenes pics of his training are actually amusing.
3. He’s managed to stay in the top ten.
Although Berdych’s play seems streaky, he still has managed to string together enough points to maintain his ranking in the top ten since 2010. Considering how competitive the game is, this is quite a feat. I don’t quite understand how he did it, but the numbers don’t lie, so there you go. Well done, you.
4. He’s cute.
Fine, I will admit that he’s not bad looking. He’s even modeling for H&M now. He can sometimes look quite cute.
He can also sometimes look like an extra from the Walking Dead.
But, you know, a zombie with excellent bone structure. That’s totally a complement.
5. He is fun to hate-watch.
Hate-watching is one of the best things about sports. It’s not just fun to watch your faves win; it’s also fun to watch those you aren’t such a fan of lose. Isn’t great when the Yankees just suck? No offense to any of the actual players on the team. I’m sure they’re fine upstanding people. It’s just fun to watch them eff up. It’s how most people who aren’t from Boston feel about the Patriots. “Screw you, Brady, and your model wife too.” Same with Tomas. He’s just plain fun to hate. He even looks like the preppie bad guy from some 80′s movie (keep popping that color, bro). Every story needs a bad guy, and in the soap opera that is tennis, I can’t think of a better villain.*
So there you are: I said five nice things about Berdych. Now, can I go back to hating on him?
*Actually, Soderling was THE BEST villain. Miss you Robin Bo Carl.