Somdev feels he is on track

Somdev Devvarman is back from the shoulder injury and along with him comes the question whether he can regain his place in the top 100. The former India No 1 is not unmindful of the apprehensions but feels he is on track to be at his best.

Once perched at 62nd spot in the world, he has slipped to 534th following a right shoulder injury that kept him off action for nearly nine months. The comeback is going to be far from easy but Somdev is prepared to grind it out.

“When I was 24-25 years, the million dollar question was whether I can break into the top 100. I know the question will be back again and that’s one of the targets — breaking back in,” said Somdev, who was here at the DLTA complex on Friday. The US-based Indian admitted he was still not match sharp. “I am match fit but being match sharp is different.

I am not as sharp as I used to be but I feel I am quite close. It’s just a question of time and working day in and day out,” he said.

“I feel unless you are in top four in the world, it's difficult for you to work for some particular tournament for a comeback. For us, it’s more about playing tournaments. If I play in 30 tournaments, I may be good in 10, poor in 10 and average in the next 10.”
Somdev is gearing for yet another gruelling training during the off-season. He is eager to go through the paces with former world No 1 and recently retired Andy Roddick, whom he credited for speeding his progress on the circuit. 

“I am thankful to him for bringing me to the professional aspect of the game and speeding up my progress. I have nothing but gratitude for him. He has told me he is not going to lose a set off me in the off-season,” he said. “This year I will be approaching the off-season a lot fresher having played a lot lesser. My expectations, too, has changed. I know I am coming back from a surgery and I need to be careful even in picking my tournaments.”

 The two-time NCAA champion, however, is not too worried about his low ranking, which will now mean coming through the qualifying rounds.

 “I am preparing as hard as I can. I will be using my protective ranking wherever I can and make the most of the opportunities. I am not too worried about the number of matches I will have to play.  I know when I will reach a certain level, rankings and money will take care of themselves,” said Somdev who is hoping to use his protective ranking of 85 at the 2013 Australian Open.

He also praised the young Indian team that won the Davis Cup tie against New Zealand in Chandigarh last month. “The young  guys have started to do well which is a good thing,” said the 27-year-old who left for Vienna on Friday evening to play in Erste Bank Open.

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