Tomas Berdych is a master of the giant-killing performance.
The powerful Czech has made a habit throughout his career of bobbing up to oust the superstars on some of the game’s biggest stages, whether it be Rafael Nadal in Madrid in 2006, Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2010 and the US Open in 2012, or even this year, when he recovered from 6-2 5-2 down to beat Novak Djokovic in Rome.
And this is exactly why you want him playing for your town at Australian Open 2014 as part of the AO Blitz.
This ability to rise to the occasion is what will make Berdych a dangerous competitor at the year’s first Grand Slam in January, a venue where he’s had plenty of success in the past.
Berdych has been an Australian Open quarterfinalist the past three years, losing to either Djokovic or Nadal each time and in the past two years pushing both of them to four exciting sets. The 196cm-tall right-hander’s lethal combination of a booming serve, powerful groundstrokes and underrated athleticism make him an extremely tough opponent on Melbourne Park’s medium-paced hard courts, and having been a permanent fixture in the top 10 since 2010, his experience at the top level will be invaluable if he finds himself going deep into the tournament in 2014.
So how can you get Berdych playing for your town at the upcoming Australian Open?
It’s easy – the more points you earn by completing challenges, the more points you earn for your nominated town. And the higher your town finishes on the leader-board, the more chance it will have of being represented by a highly seeded player. The top two towns on the leader-board will flip a coin to see which one scores the top-seeded male player, or the top-seeded female.
Your town could be associated with the Czech at Australian Open 2014; giant information screens around Melbourne Park, plus scheduling signage, would feature his name, nationality and the Australian town he’s ‘playing for’.
It’s a pretty exciting concept, especially when you consider the prizes on offer. If your representative player wins the men’s or women’s Australian Open singles title, your town will be treated to an AO Blitz party for the entire community, and a whole host of other prizes.
And that player could very well be Berdych, who will be hoping to carry his impressive form from 2013 into the new year.
The 28-year-old won 53 matches this season and reached three finals, consistency that helped him peak at a career-high ranking of No.5 in August. On the flip-side, failure to win an ATP title during a season for the first time in three years will keep his motivation high.
By registering for the AO Blitz and completing as many challenges as you can, you'll increase your chances of having Berdych turning that motivation into a title run for your town at Australian Open 2014.