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Exclusive interview with Tomas Berdych x H&M Wimbledon Kit

By Joseph Kocharian

Tomas Berdych is all primed and ready for his campaign for a Wimbledon title, kicking off tomorrow. We sat down with the incredibly tall, incredibly dashing and incredibly talented tennis player to talk about his collaboration with H&M for his new Wimbledon kit- as well as that infamous naked photo and  all things fashion and tennis:

Joseph: You were wearing print for the clay season and now you have a lot more restrictions for Wimbledon (that has an all white clothing policy), was there anything specific that you wanted to get out of the design?

Tomas: Yeah of course, as you know Wimbledon stuff needs to be mainly white clothes, so there isn’t really much that you can do or play with the design, but we have tried to play a little bit with the fabric and try to bring some different materials in the look that you can just break through the white look. In the end it’s basically a very nice clean outfit, but it’s not just a plain white t shirt – when you look at it there geometrical patterns that go through the t-shirt and the same thing on the shorts as well. Then when you look closely it creates, I would say, a nice complete package.


It seems like Wimbledon gets stricter with the dress code every year…

Pretty much! They say it’s a 90% but I mean that 10% might only go on logos and then you can maybe make one stripe or something. I’m not sure I’m totally correct on this but they only allow vertical stripes – they don’t like horizontal at all! So if you want to have stripes it has to be up and down, but personally, I think there is no need to complain on that issue – I think it’s a great tradition and it really belongs to this place.

Have you started working on your patterns and colours for the US Season?

Yes, they’re already in place and nearly done. It’s going to be very different of course. I would say it’s completely unique to the ones that we have done in the past! I personally really like it a lot.

Is it nice to work with someone like H&M where you’re not part of the cookie cutter outfits, even for the top players, like yourself, that some brands do? And working for someone who is a little bit more fashion-led:

Yeah it is! That was the thing I liked when I was first approached [by H&M]: seeing all the options and possibilities and the things that they would like to have, like having the player close to the design team and to talk about the process… I was really impressed. I really like the way that I can be a really close part of it and in the end I can see the input from myself and then wear it on the court. It’s very personal and individual and different because of the fashion history of the brand and I like it a lot.

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The campaign looks really nice. Where did you shoot that and do you like doing photo shoots?

It was done in Miami before my tournaments in March – actually it was quite fun! So far all the shoots I have done with H&M have been good fun. The set-up is always well placed in nice locations and I really like the results. It’s a nice change to my quite busy and hectic schedule and meet different people as well – usually it’s just the tennis environment, but then you can go a little bit on the side with this. It’s also part of relaxing you can go and do something completely different.

Speaking of photo shoots, you did an infamous nudes shoot for ESPN magazine – was that quite daunting to do? And how was the reaction?

When I was first approached I was like, ‘Yeah sure why not?’ It’s a very well-known magazine and I think it was a good thing to do. Of course the photo shoot was a big set up, but they were all quite used to it because they have done all the other athletes in the past so they don’t really see it as a big deal – it just took me a little time at the beginning to get used to it, but then it was absolutely fine. It was quite fun! I think the results came up quite nicely, and the reaction… well you can’t make everyone satisfied all the time, but generally the reactions were quite nice and positive! IG_BWW_TomasBerdych

ESPN Magazine

You’re really good on social media – do you have a favourite emoji?

I don’t really think I have one emoji that I could pick! I just try to play with it a bit. There are so many things that you can do with social media. Again it’s about trying to bring people something else – seeing what you like to do in your down time. I think it’s similar to the designing stuff: you can express whatever you feel. With social media, it’s what you feel in that moment. Designing the collection is more long-term, but it’s all fun.

Do you get a lot of coaching on social media? There are a couple of tennis players who are really good at it and some who are… less so.

I am just trying to keep it as it is – from myself. I really like to have a very personal approach to that.  Of course sometimes when you want to post a picture you need to ask someone to take the picture, as you can’t just have selfies!

So you’re not the infamous Roger Federer parody account @pseudofed  are you? You chat quite a bit to that account, as do other players! It seems like it’s someone from the inside, as they post pictures from the player’s lounges…

I find it funny and interesting! Actually no, I have never met anyone who runs the account.  I also asked Roger if he knows and he said no.

Back to Wimbledon: You’ve had your best result at a slam there, despite being so tall and the grass conditions with the low bounce. Does it hold a special place for you?

I really like it and I always look forward to this part of the year, when I can come back and play Wimbledon. So far it has been my best slam result and I’m looking forward to adding something to it.

Outside of the slams, what is your favourite tournament and surface to play on?

My favourite event? I would probably say it’s Monte Carlo: it’s very special again. I like the location and it’s a lot of history and a nice place for me. I’m not really sure if the clay would be the top surface – these days it’s more like you have to be an all-round player. If you asked me I would probably say hard court but with the results I’m having I have to go for all around.

You’re having a great year, with a career high seeding for the French open, what else do you want to get out of this year?

Yeah, I reached my highest position so far and we are still half way through so I am definitely going to try to stick with the good results and try for the title. If I would be able to end up the year at my highest position , that would be excellent.

The girls from your home country of the Czech Republic are doing well, and you’ve had great success for your country in team events…

Definitely, I think it is one of the strongest teams in women’s tennis by far: it’s great for the country, great for the sport, and great for them! They’re having great success and results and they have proven this in the Fed Cup and in the singles tournaments. With this sport people really like the competitions where you play for your country more than individual so it’s getting a lot of interest, which is great!

How’s the extra week between Roland Garros and Wimbledon treating you?

Well honestly, the perfect answer for this will be after Wimbledon – how I’m feeling now though is that I think it’s a good thing to have. I’m getting a little bit older, that’s how it is, so I like to have the extra week there and really take your time after the clay which was very tough and you play a lot of tennis and you can rest a couple of days to rest and recuperate. For myself I like the change. You have more tennis on grass for people who like to play on it.  If not you take the time for yourself and preparations for Wimbledon.

What is your style off court?

I wouldn’t really say I have one style and that’s it – I really like trying to find the style for the occasion. Off court I like to be very clean and simple.

Tomas’ Wimbledon Collection is available in stores now- check out to check it out!