Bangalore: Serbia's Dusan Lajovic on Sunday said that fatigue was the cause of his loss against Somdev Devvarman in the fourth match of the Davis Cup World Playoff tie here.
"I don't know what happened in the middle of the second set. Then he (Somdev) started to play better and the crowd was behind him, which helped him raise his game, while I could not raise mine," he told reporters at the post-match press conference at Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association Stadium here. A resilient Somdev won the battle of nerves and wits as he pulled off a stunning five-set victory over world number 61 Dusan to lock the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie against Serbia 2-2.
Somdev overcame a sluggish start to carve out a heroic 1-6 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 win after battling hard for three hours and 37 minutes as he dished out a memorable win. "It (tiredness) does not happen all the time because I am very well physically prepared. But today, I don't know what happened," Dusan further said.
Asked the line calls against him affect his game, Dusan said the umpires make these mistakes but does not change the complexion of the match. "They (umpires) make these mistakes. But it didn't change the complexion of the match. That moment, I get frustrated. But we need to keep going on," he said. How did you find Somdev compared to Yuki Bhambri whom you played in the first match of the tie, Dusan said the Indian started a bit tight but raised his game after seeing me struggling with his pain in the heel.
"Som started a bit tight and then he raised his game and stopped missing the shots while I could not find the points. I think that was the main difference," he said. Asked whether it affected his game when Somdev stretched him for every point, Dusan said, "Of course, there were lot of rallies and not so many short points. So, it was tiring for both of us."
Speaking on how tough was it to play Somdev, who drops the ball deep on his returns, Dusan said the Indian played his usual game and he tried to ape which done him in.
"Its the thing about Davis Cup. It complicates things. Som played his usual game on the slow side and I tend to play faster. At some point of the match, I started to play his game though it was not the option for me," he said.
Was it frustrating to play someone like Somdev, Dusan said it shouldn't be frustrating but certainly makes a player with different style uncomfortable. "Yeah, there are many different players. It should not be frustrating. Everybody has his own style, which can make another player uncomfortable," he said. About his struggle in the latter part of the match, Dusan said, "I could not capitalise on my serve, which affected my game."
On crowd factor, Dusan said certainly it helps the host nation. "When about 5,000 people are backing you, it makes you play better," he said. Asked did he play differently to counter Somdev when he was playing a lot of rallies in the fourth and the fifth set, Dusan said, " To play from the net, you need to have lot of energy. To do that, you need lot of strength in your rally. So, I didn't have that in the 5th set. And that went against me."
On his injury, Dusan said it was not an injury but a pain on the top of his heel when he slipped while playing a forehand during the match. "I slid on my forehand and I had pain on the top of my heel. I knew that it was not serious and I went on with my game not before approaching the physio to unblock," he said.