A former player himself, McCain is mighty impressed with Somdev’s game that borders around making his opponents work for their points.
“He doesn’t give away too many easy points and that’s a fantastic thing,” said the 51-year-old coach.
The American made it clear that he was not looking at a major overhaul of Somdev’s game, but was working on adding a few things.
“Somdev’s nature is to be safe because he doesn’t want to lose points and I’m not trying to change that. Instead, I would like to add a few things to his game. First and foremost we’re working on is court position. Somdev stands far too back in the court thereby reducing his chances of being on the offensive. We’re also working on picking the right balls and attacking the short ball,” he noted.
McCain identifies Somdev’s agility on the court as his greatest asset. “To be among the top, you either have to be a big striker of the ball or you need to be really quick on the court. Somdev has great foot speed which makes him tough to beat. It’s like having a big serve and when a player has such big strength, you’re straight away at an advantage,” he pointed out.
There has been a perceptible change in Somdev’s serve and McCain provides an interesting observation.
“We are still working on it. For me a serve is the one shot which determines the timing of a rally. Given Somdev’s game it’s very crucial for him to have a good serve. The longer the point goes on, the better his chances of closing it out and with a strong serve he can prolong a rally,” he reasoned.
India will be playing Russia in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group in March and a lot depends on how Somdev fares.
“It’s going to be tough for sure,” said McCain about Russia who will be led by Nikolay Davydenko. “They’ll play it indoors where the surface will be fast and low and I’ll do everything to get Somdev ready for the challenge,” he remarked.