The Davis Cup final between Spain and Czech Republic isn’t starting until Friday, but the heat is already on, and it has nothing to do with the temperatures getting lower in Prague.
If the Spaniards are classy as is their habit regarding the venue, the rivals, etc., it was a whole other matter for one of the Czech team members, namely World n° 6 Tomaš Berdych, who seems to have the knack of putting his foot in his mouth with controversial declarations. This time, he attacked Spanish n° 2 player, Nicolás Almagro:
“I beat Almagro most of the times in 2012. If he gets to play, he’ll be the weak link on which to build our victory. Almagro misses this little something that characterises great players. This year, he won small tournaments.”
It is not the first time that Berdych makes such fiery declarations, but this time, it really appears to be a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
What he said about Almagro is not completely incorrect, in terms of tournaments won this season, that is, as the whole Spanish team is playing on a surface that makes them weaker. However, for a player who only won one Masters 1000 in his whole career and made only one Grand Slam final, he should not be the one talking, especially given his “mental weakness” history at key moments of a match, the latest examples seen last week, in London.
Of course, the Czechs start as the heavy favourites to win the Davis Cup, not only because they are the home team, but also because the surface chosen, a very fast hard court, suits their players much more than the Spaniards.
However, twice already has a Nadal-deprived Spanish team defied and bested the odds on a very fast hard court: in the 2008 final in Mar Del Plata, and again last year in the quarter-finals in Austin, Texas.
Perhaps someone should remind Berdych of those little details to prevent him from putting his foot further into his mouth.
Wouldn’t it be funny if his declarations came to haunt him from the racquet of Nico Almagro?
Let the hostilities begin!