Monday, June 20, 2011

Somdev expects a good opener!

Somdev Devvarman's journey on grass, which began with the curious two summers ago, where he played a main draw doubles match, has gradually progressed to a place he now calls, 'comfortable'.

On Tuesday, if the weather holds, the world No. 68 will play his first singles match in the competition proper of the Wimbledon tennis championships when he takes on German Denis Gremelmayr, in a contest where the Indian will look to showcase some of the tricks he has learnt along the way.

Somdev, 26, said, "I wanted to get my feet on the grass as quickly as possible, so after the French Open, I flew to Nottingham even though it was only a Challenger tournament. I lost in first round in Nottingham, then again in the first round at the Queen's Club event, before winning a round in Eastbourne. I'm getting better with every match, now I can say that I am comfortable on this surface. I like the way I'm moving and striking the ball."

The US-based Indian pro said of Gremelmayr, aged 29, ranked 110, "He has obviously been around and knows what to do. I expect a good match as I'm sure he does too. Having said that I know that I have the goods to beat him."

Somdev, 26, who has enjoyed a good run on the tour this season, rising to a career-high 66 two weeks ago, said the difference between grass and clay was like 'night and day'. He said, "For me the biggest challenge is in court coverage.

You cannot slide here like on clay, you have to be able to stop and position yourself right. I have been speaking to some of the other players here and everybody is of the opinion that this is the Grand Slam players are least prepared for and that's not by choice. It is just how it is. The weather too doesn't help. We have a limited amount of time on the surface, even for practice, so there's no question of a lazy practice session, every minute is precious and you have to make the most of it."

Somdev, who has been shuttling between the grass at Wimbledon and a nearby indoor facility for his practice sessions, said that when a player gets ahead with an early break, he's difficult to break back on grass. He added, "It's a confidence thing. You have to fight for every point, right from the word go. Because of the weather and the fact that you have to leave the courts and comeback sometimes several times during a single match makes it a mental match out there. Again it is he who adjusts to these conditions the best who survives. Some do it better than others."

No comments:

Post a Comment