Somdev heaps praise on Yuki

Somdev heaps praise on Yuki

Somdev Devvarman, the last Indian to breach the top-100 in the ATP charts before Yuki Bhambri made the grade on Monday, praised his Davis Cup team-mate’s efforts, saying he was enjoying the fruits of his hard work.

“It’s an incredible effort, because he wasn’t that close earlier in his career. He didn’t spend much time between 100 and 120. He was about 140 and then he won a Challenger event, reached a final and one semis and got 200 points in three tournaments and ran into the 100 which is probably the best way to do it. He is the next big thing in India and the brightest hope we have. It’s really nice to see him finally reach his potential,” said the Indian ace who is in the city for the Air Asia ATP Challenger event.

Somdev, who was ranked a career-high 62 in 2011, has had a difficult season, where even after winning two ATP Challenger events, he failed to carry forward the good work and make a Grand Slam appearance. “It’s been tough. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way. I have been trying to make a lot of adjustments in my game to improve.

“I couldn’t make it to the Grand Slams, and that’s disappointing. But I did win two Challenger events this year which I have not done in the past. So I think the level of tennis is there. It’s important that I get past the opening rounds because once I get deeper into the tournament, I play better tennis,” added Somdev, who is the ranked 181 in the World.

Even though he might be struggling to get into his rhythm on the ATP circuit, Somdev has been a reliable force for India in Davis Cup, playing his heart out against the likes of Czech Republic and Serbia. It’s a puzzle that the Guwahati-born player is yet to solve.
“If I can figure out what I do right (in Davis Cup), then I’ll do a lot better,” he said.

“Whenever I play for India I do a lot better. Maybe it’s because I play five sets rather than three. The mindset going in is way different. In three sets, the margins are smaller, while in five sets you play more solid for long and serve better for long,” he said.
With the season reaching its end, Somdev said he will be aiming to make it to the main draw of Grand Slams in the coming season. “This year I didn’t make it to the main draw of any Grand Slams. I think the previous years I played all the Slams and a few more tour events, and that’s something I’ll be looking for,” he said.
 

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