Somdev aims high for 2011 season, wants to be in top-50

Chennai: After succeeding to break into top-100 and grab gold medals at Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in 2010, India`s numero uno singles player Somdev Devvarman is eyeing a top-50 slot in season-2011, beginning with Chennai Open from Monday here.

Somdev, who was a finalist at India`s only ATP event in 2009, said he would try to remain in top-100 in the new season and climb the ranking-ladder up.

Asked about his aim for the new season, Somdev today said he has set, "higher targets like (getting into) top- 75 and top 50."

Currently ranked 108, Somdev said,"I`ll try to get better and better every day."

Talking about the medal wins at CWG in New Delhi and at Asiad in Guangzhou, he said, "Obviously that was a great result and I`ve had a good pre-season. I am looking forward to the Chennai Open."

The US based Indian said he has been working hard on improving his game.

"My game is a bit passive, so I`ve been trying to retrieve balls more often. Against top players you don`t get too many chances, (so) you`ll have to take them," he said.

Asked who he considered the biggest challenge from among the players in the fray at the Chennai Open, Somdev said, "There are lots of talented players like Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic and Janko Tipsarevic, but the most important thing to me is who I am playing first, as I`ll only progress to the later rounds if I cross the first stage."

Somdev said more youngsters in India are taking to tennis after impressive results this season.

"We`re always trying to bring in youngsters. The TNTA has been doing a lot to promote youth. I think we are a few years away before from bearing the fruit of all the hard work that is being put in," he said.

The qualifying rounds of the tournament will start on Saturday while the main draw is scheduled to begin on Monday.