Berdych seeking first Slam as men's field "opening up"

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AP

Tomas Berdych is pursuing a Grand Slam title harder than before, saying he sees the men's competition "opening up."

Following Stanislas Wawrinka's Australian Open title run, the "Big Four" no longer seem as dominant, the Czech said in an interview with The Guardian. Andy Murray's two Grand Slam wins after reaching four finals also serves as motivation, he added.

"From 2005, there were very few players who won a Grand Slam besides those four, it's incredible," he said. "But now it's absolutely right to say it's opening up, and this is why I don't feel tired after 12 years. I have a new impulse and I'm very close. I have extra energy to work harder and get higher because I know it also took Andy a long time to win his first Slam."

Berdych reflected that he could have reached as high as No. 1 in a weaker field, but also pointed out the satisfaction of playing against such greats as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.

"For a few weeks it could happen that, in another era, I could have been. But I can compete with them and be part of this tennis history. I've managed to beat all of them, at least once, so I'm not complaining," he said.

"And now there is more of a chance. It's extremely tough but if...one day I lift a big trophy it's going to be worth five of them. The feeling will be even more special."

Berdych, who has been working with Tomas Krupa, says he would also look at hiring a big-name coach like several other players have done.

"Many times I get asked if I am looking for any names and, yeah, there is still a window for that. I'm open to it," he said.

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