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December 31, 2017

Tomas Berdych

Doha, Qatar

THE MODERATOR: First press conference of the tournament. Start out with questions for Tomas, please.

Q. I just wanted to ask Tomas if the feeling amongst players around your ranking, if you think the era of the big four is over and you're in a position now to exploit that. And do you expect one of the players outside the big four to win a Grand Slam this season?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I think that we're going to see with a bit of time how the season is going to go. I mean, it's hard to say right now. But yes, I think it's very possible. I'm not saying that it's over, but I think it's the nature of the process of the time and of the sport, then you can see the players being on the top 4 the whole time. I mean, it's absolutely normal that they are going to be era. And I think still they were pretty long time. So it was very exceptional.

So you know, I think just people maybe get too spoiled of that, that they are going to say always Roger, Rafa, Andy, and we cannot forget Stan won also three Slams. The guys having great results and really being consistent for so many years. I think I can count myself also to one of them there. But that's how it is.

I think it would be very sad if we would be dominating for, I don't know, the whole time and there will be no other young guys coming up. I think we just get to the stage where they reach a pretty high level which they are going to be definitely competitive to get a chance to win a Slam. And I think it's going to be very interesting year ahead of us.

Q. Could I ask following that, does it make you more hopeful or more confident that you could claim a Slam if you're in, as you are, that pocket of players just outside the top 4, if it gives you more inspiration, I suppose, is what I'm trying to ask?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I've been part of that now for quite a long time. You know, been trying very hard, been close to that. Unfortunately the result didn't came up yet. But it's hard to say, you know, when my ranking drops a little bit if it's -- if now I can feel more confident. Actually it shouldn't be like that, right, if you are on top.

When I was No. 4 in the world, probably that would be a better moment for me to be talking about winning some Slam and being one of them. But I think that's the beauty of our sport that no matter where you are, you still have a big chance. It's about that particular day, and from that one day you can create a great week. From one great week, you can make it two and that's what you are looking for.

To be honest, that's the only reason why I'm still around. I don't have to be playing anymore. Just because I love the sport. I still see something that I have achieved in the past. I still see myself that I can have a chance for that. That's why I still want to compete. I want to challenge myself against the young guys, as the guys that they have been with me around for a long time, and just enjoying playing.

THE MODERATOR: One comment on this week. Your expectations being back in Doha.

TOMAS BERDYCH: It's great. I'm the first here for the press and I hope I'm going to be the last one for the press. That's always the best one when you come first and leave last. Let's hope for that. I mean, it's a great week to start the season. I was saying that it's really amazing how time flies fast and that we are here again for another season. But if you have a week like that to start the year, it's always a pleasure and it makes the beginning much more easier.

So I'm pleased that I can be here and I can play some tennis here after quite a long break for myself, which was the longest so far I had in my career, and just looking forward to being back on the court.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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