Ferrer and Berdych find contentment in tennis underclass

Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:14am EST
 

By Simon Cambers

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The dominance of the "big four" in men's tennis over the past few years has enthralled crowds around the world.

But while Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and most recently, Andy Murray, have mopped up the grand slam titles, they have left behind them an underclass of nearly men.

Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina is the only man, other than the top four, to win a grand slam title since the 2005 Australian Open.

The likes of David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic have all earned places in the top 10 but picking up one of the four majors has proved beyond them.

"If you look at the draw, if you want to win a slam and you have to beat at least three of them, then it's really tough," Berdych said at the Australian Open on Monday after a 6-3 7-5 6-3 win over American Michael Russell in the first round.

"That's how it is. Today's tennis is really, really strong. I think we are in the best era of our sport ever. It's the same for everybody. I think we are all trying our best to break that huge barrier in front of us.

"If this happened for me, then it would be I would say at least 10 times better than it would have been before."

Rather than become frustrated with their lot, the chasing pack seem to have accepted their fate and continue to give their all hoping that they get just one chance.   Continued...

 
David Ferrer of Spain arrives for a practice session at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj