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Berdych sets sights on top four


PlanetSport | 6 March 2013


World number six Tomas Berdych has emerged as an outside favourite to win at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens this week.

Berdych who extended his 2013 record to 14-4 at the Dubai Duty Free Championship last week, said he would like to break the dominance of the top four men on the ATP Tour this season.

"I wish that this is going to be true. That's what I'm trying to do," said Berdych, who is considered by many as the best player not to win a Grand Slam.

A positive result in the Southern California Desert this week, where the only the best players compete, would boost prospects of achieving this in 2013.

On the ATP Tour Berdych has enjoyed most of his success playing on hard courts and Indian Wells will provide the ideal opportunity for him to increase his confidence for the remainder of the season.

"I'm working hard every day and trying to close that gap. Those guys (Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray) are really ahead and the best thing is to play really solid to have chances to play them.

"Right now that means in the semi-finals or final of a tournament. Once you have more matches with those four guys, you can improve yourself and you can learn from that experience. That's the only way you can get closer to them or even become a part of them," added the Czech giant.

It is widely agreed that an aspect of Berdych's game which requires urgent attention is mental strength.

"What I've been really trying to work on is mental strength and preparation for every single match," admits Berdych.

"They are very important aspects of today's game. Especially now. Everybody can play a good forehand and backhand. There is no difference at all. It's really just about the small details and one of them is the mental preparation, which I've been trying to improve," he added.

"I believe I did so, but you can improve these aspects a lot. I hope this is something that can take me higher.

"There's a lot you can say about that really. It's concentration in the match. It's also what you do around: how you deal with the situations on court and off court.

"It's not only about once you step on the court. It's been the work of my team. Part of it has definitely been my tennis coach. He can help me with that as well. I've also been working with one guy, not a sports psychologist as such," he said.