Bangalore: Somdev Devvarman on Sunday said the sterling comeback doubles match of Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna inspired him to go out and win the crucial first reverse singles game for India and keep the nation's hopes alive in the Davis Cup World Group Playoff tie against Serbia here.
"Huge. It (Bopanna-Lee comeback match) was an inspiring stuff. To be 0-2 down and winning it from there is really inspiring. It is a lot of pressure playing at home," he told reporters at the post-match press conference at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association Stadium. A resilient Somdev pulled off a stunning five-set victory over world number 61 Dusan Lajovic to draw 2-2 parity against Serbia.
Somdev overcame a sluggish start to carve out a heroic 1-6 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 over win over Lajovic after battling hard for three hours and 37 minutes. "I remember speaking to Lee and Bops saying please give me a chance because I did not play that well on Friday, and they did that and gave me a chance," he said.
"They read the game, especially Leander reads the game well, regardless where he is sitting...Something which I appreciate...I was really happy that the team was behind me to get me through that," he added.
Asked about his game plan against Lajovic, Somdev said he played aggressive tennis after the third set. "I felt I was aggressive after the third set. I forgot about the ball and being tactical. I tried to hit the ball and play mixed tennis shots and made life hell for the other guy," he said. Somdev further said he slowed down his game after watching Dusan struggling with pain and decided to force him into long rallies.
"Absolutely I slowed down my game because I felt he (Dusan) was hurting - the long we kept him up, the more tougher it would have been for him," he said.
"I just kept telling myself keep fighting. When you are playing below average but you are still fighting through it is a good sign." Somdev said he pushed Lajovic hard after he realised he was struggling with a pain in his heels.
"Yeah he was obviously struggling and that was unfortunate. I was telling myself to push myself for every single point. In these kinds of match, one or two points decides the fate of the match, and therefore I pushed myself hard," he said.