Chennai, January 3, 2011 - Tomas Berdych may not set the tennis hearts aflutter, but a No.6 ranking will surely make the aficionados sit up and take notice.
Last year, the 25-year old Czech, known to be reticent and shy, did not win a single tour event, but a Wimbledon final and French Open semi-final besides a few other strong results, including the Miami Masters final, saw him break back into top 10 that he had first achieved in 2007.
'I played in the finals of two big tournaments, but couldn't win even one set, but on the other side, I reached my first Grand Slam final and had a very good run in Miami.
'Of course, it is very disappointing every time you lose a match, but I would say, that they were still great results. Hopefully, this year I can do better,' he said at a pre-tournament media conference here Monday ahead of the Aircel ATP Chennai Open where he is the top seed.
His sensational quarter-final victory against Roger Federer at Wimbledon last year en route to the final where he lost to Rafael Nadal, pitch-forked Berdych into the top echelons of tennis.
Of course, he is no stranger to a top-10 spot, but in the past, he was never quite able to remain there and it was thought that he was content with his ranking.
But a 'new' Berdych has since emerged after he hired Tomas Krupa as a coach and the Czech star has shown noticeable improvement.
'I have spent more time with my coach than with my girlfriend. But seriously, my game has matured and I have improved a lot,' commented Berdych who then reflected on his two losses to Nadal, first in the Wimbledon final and then in an exhibition match at Abu Dhabi last week.'
'Nadal is right now probably deserves to be the World number one. He is playing great tennis and has improved the most among the top players.'
'It is really tough to keep up with him, but I hope I can do better and beat him. I had a pretty good chance in Abu Dhabi and had more break points in the first set, but he played unbelievable tennis and won,' he said.
On his two victories against Federer last year, Berdych said: 'I was lucky in Miami as I was a match point down, but it was a really great moment when I beat him on the Centre Court at Wimbledon.'