Will try to cash home advantage: Somdev
Chennai: Somdev Devvarman is looking forward to cash in on the home advantage when India will square against Brazil in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie, from September 17.
Somdev has some great memories at the SDAT Tennis stadium as he made the singles final of the 2009 Chennai Open.
In fact the AITA chose Chennai as the venue for the tie keeping in mind Somdev`s preference for the hard courts.
"We have to be mentally prepared playing for country. I will try as hard as I can and make use of home advantage. It will be pretty hot and everyone is comfortable here. As for doubles, both Leander (Paes) and Mahesh (Bhupathi) are capable of handling any type of pressure," he said.
Brazil`s singles players are better ranked than the India players with Thomaz Bellucci standing as high as 28 in the ATP charts and Ricardo Mello at 81.
But Somdev said they are neither bothered by the ranking of their opponents nor by the fact that they are left-handed.
"They are good players. We have to practice and prepare hard. Whether they are lefties or right-handed does not bother us," he said.
Somdev, ranked 98, with a 4-5 win-loss record in Davis Cup arrived here last night.
He said the tie would be a close affair and they need to serve well against the Brazilians.
"I know what to expect from the Brazilians. They have the strength in rankings. We have to be on top of our game to beat them. The first serve percentage has to be improved," he said.
On his performance during this year, Somdev said it is the best so far having played a lot of higher ranked players.
Asked about losing matches in tie-breaks, he said, "It`s not that I mess up every match to lose. The other guys also play well. I have been playing a lot of guys in the top-100 this season and obviously competition is tough."
Somdev also praised his teammate and US Open finalist Rohan Bopanna, with whom he will pair for the Commonwealth Games.
"It`s nice that he has been having a good run this year and breaking into top-35. He (Bopanna) is a hard guy and if he gets going, it`s very difficult to stop him," he said.
On teaming with Bopanna in doubles, Somdev said. "He has been doing a terrific job with Aisam-ul-Haq Quereshi or whoever he has been playing with. But right now we are playing in our own ways. I am concentrating on singles. But I would love to team up with him sometime (in doubles)."