Doubles match will be crucial, says Somdev

Doubles match will be crucial, says Somdev

India’s Somdev Devvarman said that the absence of Novak Djokovic from the Davis Cup World Group Play Off match had left him with mixed feelings. “It would obviously have been sweet to play him here,” he said. “It would have also been good for the crowd and good for Indian tennis.

“But given that he isn’t playing, our chances improve and it’s good to know that we have a chance in the tie,” he explained.Somdev, who landed in the City on Tuesday morning, after finishing up an ATP Challenger engagement in Shanghai, also spoke about the match, Leander Paes’ return and his fitness after a hit at the KSLTA courts on Monday evening.

On the tie, which is scheduled to begin in the City from Friday, Somdev said anything could happen. “Both of their regular singles players (Dusan Lajovic and Filip Krajinovic) are higher ranked than Yuki (Bhambri) and myself,” he noted.
“But this is Davis Cup and we never know.”

He, unsurprisingly, said they will be looking to the doubles match to get a point.
“I would have to say our doubles is our strong point and hopefully we can win that.
“It will be nice if we can win a point on the first day going into the doubles match.”
Somdev, ranked 144th in the world, has not had the best of seasons, even losing to lesser-known compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan in the first round of the Chennai Open and he attributed that to a couple of injuries.

“I have not been at my best (all season) as I have had to deal with a couple of injuries but I am physically feeling good now. “The last week has been good for me and I came through in a couple of tough matches in Shanghai in the Challenger series. While it was unfortunate that I lost in the final, I feel that my game and my head is at the right place.”

The last-minute inclusion of Leander Paes in the side to play doubles with Rohan Bopanna has been met with positive reaction, a sentiment that Somdev shared. “It is good for us. His record speaks for itself and he will strengthen the side.”
A day after Indian skipper Anand Amritraj spoke about how the timings (Friday and Sunday’s matches are scheduled at 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm starts instead of the normal 11.00 am slot) were a cause for concern, Somdev echoed the same sentiment. “Players would have preferred if it started earlier but I don’t really control when we play. We are all happy to be here and I’m guessing that we picked the venue because of the altitude and hopefully it favours us more than them.”

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