It`s just qualifying for a Slam: Somdev

He has broken a 13-year-old jinx for India by making the French Open`s main draw but for Somdev Devvarman coming through a Grand Slam`s qualifying event is no big deal.

Last Updated: May 22, 2010, 12:45 PM IST

New Delhi: He has broken a 13-year-old jinx
for India by making the French Open`s main draw but for Somdev
Devvarman coming through a Grand Slam`s qualifying event is no
big deal.

A proven giant-killer, Somdev is, instead, determined to
make his presence felt by winning some matches in the main
event.

The Assamese tennis sensation is the first Indian after
veteran Leander Paes to make the main draw of the only Grand
Slam played on clay court.

"To be honest I haven`t thought about it yet. I`m just
glad I qualified and I`ll give it my best shot to win some
matches in the main draw," Somdev said from Paris.

"It`s just the qualifying of a Slam. Hopefully I`ll be in
the main draw of many more Slams in the future," he adds.

Clay court tennis is very demanding physically since
balls come slow and long rallies test a player`s endurance.

But Somdev likes to involve his opponents in long rallies
and has the temperament to play long intense matches.

On whether the red surface would suit his style and give
him more positive results, the youngster said he prefers the
hard courts.

"I still prefer hard courts for sure. But I`m getting a
lot better on clay. It`s all about finding a way to get
comfortable on whichever surface you`re on and I feel like my
coaches are really helping me through this transition," he
said.

Talking about his expectations from the French Open, the
25-year-old said, "I`m just hoping to play some good matches
and come out with some wins.

"I`m not consciously thinking of any results. I`m just
focussed on the process of improving and learning from my
matches. I would obviously prefer winning all the time but
it`s about learning and getting better."

He had been struggling on the ATP tour in the recent past
but during the French Open qualifying event he was clinical.
Just the first match was stretched to three sets and the other
two matches he won for the loss of only eight games.

But he is not ready to go overboard about his form.

"Form is a very relative term. It`s just one tournament.
I need to start playing a lot better more consistently. I`m
more focussed on the things I can control and hopefully my
results will keep getting better," he said.

PTI

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