Indore: A player cannot pull off a marathon five-setter on his own and it takes contribution from the entire team to eke out such a win, Somdev Devvarman said today after winning a tough second singles match against Ti Chen.
It took Somdev four hours and 40 minutes to finish on the right side of the result in a singles match at the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I.
"Yuki sent a message this morning saying `keep calm boys`. They all kept me incredibly calm. Everybody around believed in me. I knew I had to come out and fire in the first couple of games. It`s big advantage to have someone (captain Anand Amritraj) who has so much experience, around. He kept me motivated and gave me a fantastic speech that gradually fired me up this morning," Somdev said.
"I am relieved that I won. It was a tough match. I felt like I was playing well in the beginning. I was up a break. I lost serve carelessly and my rival took advantage of mistakes I made. Whenever you win a tough five-set match, it`s not just you. You have to give credit to the whole team. All I had to do was to look at the sidelines, everyone was cheering for me.
"It`s not easy standing five sets up and down. All I had to do was fight," he added.
Somdev changed his tactics today as he played attacking rather than just retrieving the balls.
"That`s first thing coach (Zeeshan Ali) told me yesterday that I need to attack. I always felt I had the upper hand until the third set. He played really good tennis. Yesterday it was not just a question of getting the wrong tactics. But execution is not as easy as it looks. I knew what wrong I was doing and that was the most frustrating part," he said.
Rohan Bopanna, who teamed up with Saketh Myneni to win the doubles rubber and seal the tie, was all praise for the debutant.
"I have played against him as well, and he plays fantastic doubles. For me it was just to keep him motivated. I think we combined really well for the first time. It is easy to play with somebody who serves 25-30kms faster than me. It`s easy for me at the net, so all credit to him."
Asked what was going through in his mind when he got the opportunity to hit a forehand winner, which won them the tie, Myneni said, "Rohan told me to be just aggressive, I took the risk and got a big shot and we won. It was awesome."
Yuki Bhambri said it was great to have Somdev around, as it gave him the chance to play freely.
"I am glad Somdev is there. He`s the one who is more experienced. I can play my own game, I can depend on him. He is capable of winning two matches and it`s me who has to step up in my singles matches," he said.
Coach Zeeshan Ali said, "the biggest positive for the side out of this tie was getting Myneni in the team and Rohan`s coming back."
Captain Amritraj said the tie was really tough.
"I have more grey hair than what I had before coming here but I am glad we won."
Amritraj sounded optimistic about India`s chances against Korea in the second round.
"We have never beaten them there, it would be good if we have it first time. They beat us in Delhi. I am hoping for a better result but supposedly they are a good team."
Somdev also felt this win will help him do well on the ATP Tours. He has been struggling from the start of this season.
"Usually when we come through a tough Davis Cup match, good things happen. Hopefully, it happens. I am playing three Challengers in India and I have not played a Challenger for the last 10 years, I know it`s gonna be tough three weeks. But it gives you self belief," said Somdev.