World No. 7 Tomas Berdych admit that Swiss No. 1 Stanislas Wawrinka’s Grand Slam victory at last month’s Australian Open instilled the belief that competitors outside of the Big Four are capable of winning Major Championships.
“Stan showed us that it is possible to win a Grand Slam,” Berdych said in Rotterdam. “They are extremely difficult to win, but it is possible to beat the top guys.It was important to realise that if you work hard, then everything can click together and you can make it in the end. It isn’t only the right of two or three guys.”
The Czech was the only Top 10 competitor not to lift a trophy in 2013, yet insists that Wawrinka’s win emphasizes the quality of the competitors in that category.
“Stan’s win showed that the Top 10 [of the Emirates ATP Rankings] is also extremely tough.
Apart from the physical side of tennis, Berdych believes that the mental aspect of the sport remains highly significant at the elite level yet is considerably underrated. The Czech No. 1 is attempting to enhance his mental game by following a structure set out by his coach in order to further his quest for a maiden Grand Slam title.
“The mental side is an important part of the tennis puzzle. If you are able to master all areas of being a professional athlete, you can be successful. My mental coach has taught me very simple things, such as creating a system and a routine in your daily life that helps you to work.
“It is a part that many people think of, but don’t apply. A lot of people talk about how many hours they have spent running and in the gym, but to what end?”