SHANGHAI ROLEX MASTERS 2013
Berdych Hails Experience As He Closes On London
by ATP Staff|
World No. 6 Tomas Berdych has been the epitome of consistency this season and, as a result, is on the verge of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the fourth year in a row. It would be an amazing achievement, the Czech told ATPWorldTour.com in China.
“It’s just great. Tennis these days is very tough, very competitive; there are so many great players. It’s really not easy at all. You’re not going to get anything for free and there are no easy matches. It would be very special to make it for the fourth time in a row.”
Berdych is currently sixth in the Emirates ATP Race To London, nearly 700 points ahead of seventh-placed Roger Federer. He is competing this week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, where the winner will earn 1000 points.
The 28 year old, who was a finalist at Wimbledon in 2010 (l. to Nadal), achieved his best result at the season finale in London in 2011, when he reached the semi-finals (l. to Tsonga).
“Of course it’s always a big goal at the beginning of every season,” said Berdych. “When it was the first time [in 2010], it was like, ‘Wow, I made it,’ and it was great. Then there was the second year, which was my best so far when I played the semi-finals there. The next year I thought it would be great to make it for a third time in a row. Now I’m really trying to do the same, trying to play well to qualify again.”
Berdych is without an ATP World Tour title in 2013, but is one victory away from 50 match wins and was a finalist in Marseille (l. to Tsonga), Dubai (l. to Djokovic) and Bangkok (l. to Raonic). He also reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, losing to Novak Djokovic both times. His achievements saw him crack the Top 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time in August, after beating Andy Murray to reach the Cincinnati semi-finals (l. to Nadal).
Reflecting on his consistent presence in the Top 8 in such a competitive era on the ATP World Tour, Berdych said, “The most important thing is preparation, not meaning go and practise hard; everybody does that. Plan the schedule, which is very important because you can burn yourself out in two months. You have to see the season as a whole and that’s the key to being very consistent.
“I’m always trying to bring something a little more every single season that I play. I’ve managed to achieve my highest ranking so far. Many people have said I’m the only one [in the Top 10] who doesn’t have a title, but I’m trying to do my best and there’s still lots of chances until the end of the season.
“What did I improve? I think it’s the experience that you get through the years. Really, it’s going to be very hard to improve the forehand and backhand. It’s more about experience: how to approach the matches, how to handle situations and tough moments in the games and how to close out matches. I think that’s what I can feel in myself is getting better and better.”