Tomas Berdych didn’t win many fans Saturday at the Australian Open. Playing deep into the fourth set of a fourth round match his opponent Nicolas Almagro slapped a forehand that hit Berdych in the arm and knocked the big Czech down.
At the end of the match, Berdych, who won in four sets, refused to shake Almagro’s hand at the net igniting a chorus of boos from the Australian crowd.
Afterward, Berdych tried to smooth things over especially considering his next opponent is another Spaniard, Rafael Nadal.
“It’s just one thing that what happened from the side of Nico was pretty much maybe not what should be happening in the tennis, and that’s it, you know,” Berdych said of not shaking Nico’s hand. “So I think if they want to look at it like that, then I think maybe we both did some mistake. So it’s even, and that’s it. You know, I wouldn’t do any big story with that, you know. Just something happen there, and that’s it, you know.”
He then explained why being hit was so wrong.
“Probably whoever played the tennis knows that the court is pretty big, and you always have some space to put the ball in,” said Berdych. “And not even if you stand each other like three or four meters close to the guy, just try to hit it straight to your face, you know. I was just able and lucky to somehow fell down. Just hit me in the arm, and that’s it, you know. Actually, this is not the way how tennis is. Even if you have this point, you always have enough space to where to put the ball and not actually try to hit the other guy.”
Almagro weighed in on twitter saying, “I think that thomas will understand what happened. No more comments about that. He is a great player”.
Odds are Nadal won’t take kindly to how Berdych treated his countryman. Nor will the fans.
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