Monday, October 6, 2008

Four of a different kind

There's a ton of indoor action going on this week, but I just wanted to give a quick acknowledgement to Tomas Berdych on taking the Japan Open by beating Juan Martin del Potro in the finals.

Berdych has had a strong couple of weeks, and by winning Tokyo, he's accomplished what has become a pretty rare feat on the tour: He's now won titles on all four surfaces (clay, hard, carpet and grass). I'm gonna look at the ATP rankings and then tap into my super-tennis-dork memory to list the active players who have accomplished that. I know off the bat Roger Federer and Andy Roddick have done it. Let's see who else:

Wow! That's it! (And I promise, I just looked at the names and didn't open the player profiles. And I only did the top 200 because that's pretty much where the tournament winners preside. If I've missed anyone let me know: And I'm not counting Nadal—Madrid was an indoor hard court.)

Anyway, that's a pretty lofty accomplishment. You'd think someone who's done that and is only 23 would be a consistent top tenner, but such has not been the case. I know he's had issues both physically and mentally that have held him back (which I guess are the only issues you can have!), but here's hoping this is a jump-start to his results matching his talent. Maybe he can make the Tennis Talk, Anyone? top 10 list!

(Photo: Getty Images)


TopSpin said...

Hi Van..

I think Berdych is a great player who deserves to be in the top 10 - that said we know his mental problems (wow you'd think we were talking about a lunatic!) have held him back considerably.

I just think at times a little too much is made of his mental frailty. There are aspects of his game I feel, a player of his purported callibre could improve. I've done a piece on it in my blog so I won't rehash it here - suffice to say his service should be a whole lot better for a guy of his size/height and his groundies aren't nearly as great as some suggest.

van said...

Hey Topspin!

I think you're right, and I'm probably guilty of this, too: His game could use some work. It's just that when you see him with wins against Nadal and Federer, it gets overlooked.