There’s a lot of talk going on about the prospects of many players, but one guy that’s not often talked about is Tomas Berdych. For some reason, he really seems to have fallen off the radar despite amassing a 19-4 record over the first two months of 2015. And we shouldn’t fail to mention that the coaching change he’s made, getting Daniel Vallverdu into his team, has been widely regarded as a really good one.
So why is he not talked about too much, even though he broke the seemingly never-ending streak of losses against Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open? Well, as it turns out, it seems that he’s still stuck in the very same place as he was stuck before. Is he beating weaker players easily? Yes, he is. Is he capable of beating a top-notch player from time to time? Yes, he is. Has he moved closer to winning a major? Well, it seems that he hasn’t. For all the talk about how ready he is and everything, it seems that he still isn’t able to beat the top guys on a regular basis. All credit to him for beating Nadal, but the Spaniard wasn’t playing well on that day and Berdych failed to follow it up with a solid performance in the semi-finals. He had his chances – just like he had them later on against Wawrinka in Rotterdam and against Djokovic in Dubai – but he failed to convert them into victories.
So what’s next for Berdych? What chances does have have of getting that elusive Grand Slam title? Decent enough, it needs to be said – he just needs to learn how to react when players change something and have a real go at him. He can’t stay back whenever Djokovic pushes him into that position, because he’s not going to break out of that cage. And he can’t stay with his mechanical game whenever his opponents start to figure it out and play around it more, he needs to be able to change something as well in the heat of the battle. Not an easy task, but it seems that this could very well be the difference between him staying where he’s at – a stable top 10 player – for the years to come and him getting at least a few really deep Grand Slam runs.
There are some good news for his fans though – during the loss he suffered against Novak Djokovic in February, Berdych was actually able to adjust his game between set one and set two. The Serb fell away slightly after securing an early break, but it was the Czech’s attitude that made the difference. If more of that is to come later on, chances are that we are going to see Berdych in a Grand Slam final again.