Sydney, Australia, 6 January 2013 | AAP

A rejuvenated Bernard Tomic plans to significantly break up his tournament schedule this year in a bid to avoid the mental and physical drain he believes caused his late 2012 collapse.

Tomic heads into this week’s Sydney International feeling better than ever after returning from a competitive break with a remarkable performance at the Hopman Cup, featuring a win over world No.1 Novak Djokovic.

Tomic suffered an inglorious end to 2012, slipping to No.52 from a career-high ranking of 27. He faced criticism over his attitude and came under scrutiny for several off-court mishaps.

He admitted on Sunday he could have handled things better and to being stung by the widespread criticism that came his way.

However, a two-month break from competition helped him identify burnout as the problem and he revealed he would play no more than three tournaments in a row in a year when he hopes to crack the world’s top 10.

Tomic’s tournament and Davis Cup workload last year was considerably higher than in 2011, when he cracked the top 50 for the first time.

“One of the biggest problems I had last year was I had no time to rest or train,” Tomic said ahead of his opening match against countryman Marinko Matosevic on Tuesday.

“I played a whole bunch of tournaments in a row. Tournaments didn’t feel like tournaments to me at a stage because I didn’t know what I was playing … I think from now I’ve decided to play not more than three tournaments in a row and having two weeks off after each period.

“That’s when I’m going to give myself the best chance. When I’m prepared and fit to play each tournament. To give 100 per cent … It (last year) is just a learning curve and I’m happy it happened in a way, because you learn from your mistakes.”

With his confidence and form peaking, and the withdrawal of top seeds Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet in Sydney, Tomic can sense an opportunity to go deep into the draw as he seeks a maiden ATP title.

He said it would feel strange to face current Australian No.1 Matosevic in the opening round but insisted he thrived under the pressure of playing on home soil.

Such is Tomic’s confidence heading towards the Australian Open, he hinted he felt his top 10 goal could even be achieved sooner rather than later.

“The way I’ve been playing now, there’s no stopping me,” he said.

“I’m not going to say I’ll be in the top 10 in two or three months. It could take a little bit longer, I don’t know. It could happen just like that, the way I’ve been playing.

“But I believe I’ll get there this year and if I keep up this attitude and the way I’ve been playing, who knows from there? I could go even higher.”

While Tomic is resigned to being overlooked for Australia’s opening Davis Cup tie in Taiwan next month and the following round, he hoped he could be back in the frame for selection for the second round playoffs in September.