New Delhi: One would have preferred momentum while running into a top-five player but Indian tennis ace Somdev Devvarman is not bothered about his lean patch as he prepares to take on British number one Andy Murray in the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the 2011 season.
The last few weeks on the circuit have not brought desired results for Somdev as he has managed to reach the quarter-finals only once and only thrice has he reached the second round in the last 10 ATP events.
Somdev shot down suggestions that recent results had a discouraging effect on his morale and zeal.
"Not really. I`ve been playing well...the results have not gone in my favour but that happens. You learn from it and move on," Somdev said from New York.
Somdev, though, did admit that drawing a player like Murray for a tournament opener was not ideal.
"I am excited to play Murray. I haven`t played him before and I am looking forward to a competitive match. Ideally, it would have been nice to play him in a later round but you can`t do anything about that," he said.
Somdev had done well in the first quarter of the year as he reached the pre-quarterfinals of the Indian Wells Masters, losing to then world number one Rafael Nadal, and reaching his second ATP Tour final at Johannesburg.
But since April, he has been struggling to go beyond second rounds. Asked anout this slump, the 26-year-old Tripura born player said," It`s sport! These things happen."
Somdev was also ecstatic to become only the second tennis player in 11 years to be conferred with the Arjuna Award. He is first after Sania Mirza to recevie the honour in 2004.
"It is a great honour to be conferred with the Arjuna Award. I`m very happy and humbled. I`m obviously disappointed that I was not able to attend the awards function," he said.
Somdev had won gold medals at last year`s Commonwealth Games and Asian Games and he said the award was recognition for his hard work.
"Yes I guess. It`s nice to share the stage with so many other great athletes," he said.
Somdev is only the 15th tennis player to receive the Arjuna Award, institued in 1961.
First Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 15:50