Australian Open

Berdych not sorry after snub

2012-01-22 18:49
Tomas Berdych (File)

Melbourne - Fuming Tomas Berdych said sorry was not enough on Sunday as he accused Nicolas Almagro of hitting a ball at his face at the Australian Open - and was booed mercilessly for refusing to shake hands.

The Czech seventh seed, who came from a set down to win their fourth-round match 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7/6 (7-3), 7-6 (7/2), said Almagro had deliberately targeted him at the net with a shot which hit his arm.

Berdych was described as a "sore winner" by commentator Brad Gilbert on ESPN, and roundly booed by the crowd at Melbourne Park's Hisense Arena. But he was unrepentant afterwards, saying Almagro's apology simply wasn't enough.

"You think it's enough to apologise?" Berdych said. "You should think first before you do something."

When asked what Almagro could have done besides saying sorry, he said: "He should play the ball differently. That's it."

"Probably whoever has played tennis knows that the court is pretty big, and you always have some space to put the ball in," added Berdych, who tried to duck the shot and ended up lying on the court.

"I was just able and lucky to somehow fall down. Just hit me in the arm, and that's it, you know."

Berdych, who said it was the first time he had refused to shake hands with an opponent, was asked whether he had any regrets.

"I think maybe we both did some mistakes. So it's even, and that's it," he said. "We don't have any problems at all," Berdych said, adding that he was taken aback by the crowd's reaction.

"I mean, I can say I was a bit surprised (by their reaction), but hopefully it's just as I said, it's past," he said.

Tenth seed Almagro also sought to play down the incident.

"I don't think it was an incident. Everybody can do what they want," he said. "I played the point the way I had to do it in order to win, and I can leave the court with my head high."

When asked directly whether he had tried to hit Berdych with the ball, he replied: "I tried to win the point."

"After the point, I won the point, I said sorry to him three or four times and after that you can ask him, not me," he added.

Read more on:    australian open  |  tomas berdych
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