Giant killing Berdych takes on world No.
1 Rafael Nadal as the first Czech player to reach the men’s Wimbledon final since Lendl lost to Australia’s Pat Cash in 1987.
“It’s really nice to be in the part of his name, but still he achieved much, much more than me,” the 24-year-old said.
“But things need to start somewhere. Hopefully it’s a really good time to start to building hopefully the similar results as he did.”
Fans of the big-hitting Czech have been waiting years for this day to come, ever since Berdych, at 18, stunned Roger Federer at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
There’s been many false dawns since, most notably a run to the last eight at the All England Club in 2007 – when he succumbed to Nadal – and a collapse from two sets up against Federer in the fourth round of last year’s Australian Open.
But 2010 has proven a breakout year for the Czech.
He reached the French Open semi-finals last month, has climbed to No.13 in the world and only Nadal and David Ferrer can boast more match wins for the season.
Then there’s the big one, Berdych’s stunning quarter-final victory over Federer lastWednesday, backed up by a straight-sets mauling of world No.3 Novak Djokovic in the semis.
“I feel more confidence,” Berdych said. “I feel more stronger mentally, physically as well.
“Right now it’s a great feeling so far. But I’m still not done yet here. One more to go.
“I hope some energy still left there for the last one and of course I’m looking forward to the next one, and definitely not fearing anybody.”
Nadal, contesting his fourth successive Wimbledon final, is feeling equally confident.
Just to the Spaniard’s liking, they’re playing on grass – but hitting off dirt on centre court this year.
With not a single drop of rain during the entire championships, Nadal says the dry, fast courts are “perfect”.
“Lot of clay behind the baseline,” the five-time French Open champion beamed.
“You can move well, so … perfect conditions.”
Nadal, who only turned 24 last month could join legends Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, Ken Rosewall and Fred Perry on eight grand slam titles with a second Wimbledon triumph.