Melbourne: Proving that off-field issues did not affect him, Somdev Devvarman, who sauntered to a straight-set win over world number 78 Bjorn Phau in the first round of the Australian Open, said that he was actually "enjoying" the dispute with the AITA.
Somdev scored a comfortable 6-3 6-2 6-3 win over his German opponent making a statement of sorts.
He is leading a group of 11 Indian players, who are demanding better playing conditions in Davis Cup.
"I`ve been enjoying the dispute, speaking honestly. It`s a first in a long time that all the players on the Indian tennis scene, pretty much, are on really good terms with each other," Somdev said after the match.
"As far as the players are concerned, we know we`re trying to do the best thing for ourselves and our country and give future players the best conditions," he added.
Somdev said when he steps on court, everything else becomes secondary.
"It`s challenging but it`s a good time and it`s not playing in my mind at all. It`s great, actually," he said.
Somdev said there was amazing support for his cause.
"It`s the first time I`ve had 15 text messages after a match - all of them from India players. That shows a lot of support for what we are trying to accomplish. That`s important," the 27-year-old said.
Somdev will next take on either Italian Simone Bolelli or Poland`s 24th-seeded Jerzy Janowicz.
First Published: Monday, January 14, 2013, 17:51