Chennai: India`s top singles player Somdev
Devvarnman was gracious in defeat giving credit to Belgian
qualifier David Goffin who beat him in a first round of
the Aircel Chennai Open on Tuesday.
Somdev was shocked 2-6, 4-6 by the 20-year-old Goffin in
the upset of the day.
"Before I say anything, I`d like to say Goffin deserves a
lot of credit. From my side, I don`t think I played very
well," he said.
Somdev said he was surprised by his defeat because he was
"hitting the ball really well in practice."
"I am very disappointed with my performance today and
hopefully I`ll play better as the season progresses," he said.
Goffin on his part said,"My game was trying to be
aggressive and reach the net. I tried to be aggressive in the
court from the first moment until very end."
Asked how he managed to keep his focus towards the end of
the game when the vocal crowd got behind Somdev, Goffin said,
"These games are never easy to win. I tried to focus on my
game till the last point and finish the match."
Somdev admitted that Goffin`s aggressive start to the
game, in which the Belgian made the local favourite run all
over the court and took a 4-0 lead, "unsettled" him. That
unsettled me a bit. The first set wasn`t ideal for me," Somdev
But the Indian said he had not seen much of Goffin`s play
before, though he did study videos of his matches.
"I actually felt he was getting a bit tired. (And) there
were a few times, I failed to capitalise on his errors."
The Indian said it was "back to the drawing board now"
after this defeat. "It`s time to start playing well again
(and) move up the rankings," he said.
Looking ahead to the Australian Open qualifiers, he said,
"I have a whole week and so I can book my flight now."
Asked how he rated Goffin, Somdev said, "You go and see
his results last year and he did really well towards the end
(of the season). I don`t know what changes he`s made to his
game, but as far as potential goes, a lot of people have
potential, but you have to put the work in to realise it."
"He`s young, talented, has a lot of work ahead of him and
I wish him all the best," he said.