New Delhi: He has earned a slice of Indian tennis history by breaking into the top-100 of ATP rankings but rising tennis star Somdev Devvarman remains unsure about when his title-drought on the circuit would end.
Somdev became the first Indian after Leander Paes to get into the top-100 bracket since 1998.
And before Paes rose to number 73 in the late 90s, Vijay Amritraj (16) and Ramesh Krishnan (23) were the only Indian players to figure in top-100 in the 80s era.
From there on, India struggled to produce a singles player who had the game to take on the world`s best.
Somdev quietly prepared himself and the first hints of his class started appearing when he won back-to-back NCAA titles while studying at the Virginia University.
The gritty Indian is proud of his achievement but knows the hard reality that maintaining that position would not be easy.
"Indian tennis has had a good history so it`s good to be a part of it. I am very happy. I know I worked really hard to get here so I`m happy I got this far," Somdev told reporters.
"However I know tougher challenges are in front of me and I`m motivated and excited about what lies ahead," he added.
On whether the milestone could have been touched earlier, he said," Not really. I`ve still only been on the Tour for two years. It`s not easy to break into the top 100 and it`s just as tough to stay up there consistently."
Ever since his breakthrough year in 2009, when he made the final of the Chennai Open, expectations from the tennis star have risen.
The maiden ATP title is yet to come but Somdev is not in a hurry.
"I`m unsure. I definitely think I have it in me because I`ve already made one final. But I think the most important thing right now is not to worry about titles but to keep working on my game," he said.
Somdev has grown steadily and focused hard on his fitness to survive the physically demanding Tour but reaching the later stages of ATP events has proved a little hard for him.
Only once in seven months of the season, he reached the semifinals of an ATP challenger but had the satisfaction of qualifying for Grand Slams.
The 25-year-old said he is satisfied with his progress.
"There have been a number of players in the world who haven`t broken into the top 100 who have had the potential. It`s not an easy thing to do so I`m pretty happy I have got this far so far," he said.
The biggest benefit of making the top-100 breakthrough in the ATP rankings would be that Somdev would get direct entry into Grand Slam main draws.