World No6 Tomas Berdych stopped by Abu Dhabi for one day of promotional duties for the Mubadala World Tennis Championships, set to take place December 27 to 29, and the Czech star was nice enough to sit down with me to answer some questions from his fans (tip: lower the volume so you can hear him properly, apologies for the bad audio).
You can also read more about what Berdych had to say on the Djokovic-Federer fight for the year-end No1 ranking, how Murray's Grand Slam win kind of gives him more hope for his own chances and how he's happy to be back in Abu Dhabi.
Here are some highlights from the 27-year-old's live video chat...
What surface do you think you have the best chance of winning a Grand Slam on?
I was thinking that it would be grass after reaching the final in 2010 but then this year that changed a bit because it didn’t go well not only at Wimbledon but the Olympics as well. But I’ve made the semis in all of them except the Australian Open so it means that I’m quite able of playing on any kind of surface.
Constructing a 'dream' tennis player from the current crop whose serve, backhand, forehand, volley, return and movement would you take?
Serve: John Isner Backhand: Novak Djokovic Forehand: Can I say myself? (laughs) Ok, so yes myself. Volley: Roger Federer Return: Rafael Nadal Movement: Split between Rafa and Novak.
I follow you on Instagram and I want to ask you, what’s with the watches?
Some people collect stamps, and I collect watches. I really like watches, many of them I got as presents. Almost half of them are mine that I have chosen. I’m a big fan of watches.
If you were a footballer, who would you be?
Maybe someone like Messi?
Which player is your worst nightmare on court?
Novak Djokovic (laughs)
We all know you're a top-10 player, but I think you and your girlfriend rank as No1 as the hottest couple in tennis, do you agree?
It’s your decision, and I won’t go against it (laughs).
If you still didn’t start tennis, would you choose to be left-handed?
That’s a good question. Yes I would. If everything stays the same like it is now with me, I would like to be left-handed yes.
What's the greatest tennis match you have ever played and the greatest match you have ever watched?
The Wimbledon final I played, and watched, the match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut from Wimbledon that broke all those records. It was an incredible story and experience.
If you could choose any past or present player as your doubles partner who would it be?
Todd Woodbridge who has a huge record of winning Slams.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever given you?
I think this one was a good idea. The first time I went to Tokyo someone gave me an English-Japanese phrase book and dictionary so I could learn some words which was cool.
Here's another video of us discussing Davis Cup, Andy Murray's Slam success and Federer and Djokovic's battle for the year-end No1 ranking.