Chennai: India`s top singles player Somdev Devvarman was felicitated here today ahead of the Aircel Chennai Open 2011, for winning gold medals at both the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Asian Games at Guangzhou.
M A Alagappan, President of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) draped a traditional shawl (angavastram) around Somdev.
Karthi P Chidambaram, Chairman of the Chennai Open Organising Committee, presented a special watch by Aircel in the presence of K V P Baskaran, Operations Director-South, Aircel.
Alagappan said Somdev, who did his schooling in Chennai and honed his formative tennis skills here, is the latest in a long line of Indian tennis players with a strong connection to the city.
"The city continues to have a knack for attracting talented tennis stars," he said.
Alagappan hailed Somdev as "an example where talent and needs cross."
Karthi Chidambaram said the game of tennis "goes through generations. After the eras of Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan, the Amritraj brothers, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, now is the time of another shift -- to the Somdev era."
Noting that all the great Indian players of the past had shown leadership and taken responsibility to bring laurels to the nation, he praised Somdev`s feat of winning the Asian Games doubles gold along with Sanam Singh within a year of teaming up with him.
Thanking the TNTA and Aircel, Somdev recalled the role played by his parents, coaches and legendary players like Ramesh Krishnan, who was also present on the occasion, in shaping his career.