Kolkata: Remembering his former ward and ex-Grand Slam champion Ivan Lendl, Australian tennis guru Tony Roche underlined the importance of sheer hard work as he began a seven-day camp with Somdev Devvarman and company, here on Tuesday.
"Ivan Lendl was probably the first person, and then probably Martina (Navratilova) to take the game to the another level. The way they trained, practised and the diet. If I can just reinforce that on Indian boys they will be tougher and harder competitors.
"It's cut throat business out there on the tour. You got to be hungry and ready to go. I think they can go a long way with this mindset," the 69-year-old said.
Asked whether he's drawn any target with the Indian No.1, the former coach of Roger Federer and Lendl said, "Obviously they are pretty much set in their technique. It's little things you can pick up on. You don't want to think too much. Tennis is a game of instincts.
"I'm a firm believer of hard work that you put in and everything else just falls in place. With the practice sessions, I try to ensure that it's as close to match play as possible. Tennis is a very very difficult sport but if you put in the hard yards you get the rewards."
He said, "the Aussies also believe in hard work as their road to success. Aussies had great success through sheer hard work. I don't think that has changed over the years. Just hope that the Indian boys can take that on board and be as professional they can be."
In fact, it became evident when India No.1 Somdev showed his hand full of blisters after their full fledged practice since yesterday. "I've have learnt a lot in last few practice sessions. One should never compromise on the hard work. When you are around someone like him, the I feel like I'm more eager. Even though the body shows some tiredness.
Right now the moment can be anytime next week. I'm always ready and really excited as I feel like I've a real good chance to improve my game and get better. Overall a tremendous experience," Somdev said.