Davis Cup: Somdev geared up to spearhead India’s challenge

Indore, Jan 30: India’s top tennis star Somdev Devvarman will be spearheading the Indian challenge in the Asia/Oceania Davis Cup Group I tie against a depleted Chinese Taipei at the Indore Tennis Club from Friday.

Despite Chines Taipei missing two of their top players, Somdev, world No.103, said that India won’t take the visitors lightly.

Taipei are missing the services of world number 54 Yen-Hsun Lu and Jimmy Wang (154). Tsung-Hua Yang, ranked 216, will be leading the challenge.

Somdev, however,A feels that sans two top players, Taipei can still cause an upset.

“Definitely it changes the equation. The top two guys are extremely tough but having said that, tennis is an individual game and everyone is capable of good wins. Everyone who has played at this level, has had upsets, has made upsets. On any given day anyone can beat anyone in Davis Cup. It has happened,” said Somdev after a two-hour practice session.

He said India cannot afford to take them lightly.

“No complacency whatsoever. We are taking this tie extremely serious,” he added.

Somdev is coming into the match on the back of first round defeats in Chennai Open and Australian Open. He agreed that having some more matches would have surely helped him but feels it won’t matter much.

“I did not play my best on that day (against Ramkumar Ramanathan) and in Australia as well, unfortunately that guy (Feliciano Lopez) was better than me on that day. I would have loved to have more matches coming. But whether you are in good form or not your approach towards playing a Davis Cup match does not change,” he said.

“I have been practicing incredibly hard in the last couple of weeks. You are going to be nervous, playing for your country. Hopefully this time we play better.”

Somdev, however, will be riding high on confidence when he takes on 284th-ranked Ti Chen in the second singles.

He has beaten Ti twice on both the occasion they have crossed paths in the past. But Somdev refused to be drawn into the argument whether he is an outright favourite in the third encounter as well.

“The last couple of times I won but it`s long time ago, so don`t want to take anything lightly. Like Anand (Amritraj) has said, it`s going to be a tough match for us, very tricky. So we are doing all the things we can do to best prepare for it and give our best shot tomorrow,” he said.

Somdev reposed his faith on his team mate Yuki Bhambri and hoped that the Delhi boy will provide a winning start when he clashes with Yang in the first singles.

“He`s been playing extremely well of late and he`s coming in from a couple of good wins in Australia. Hope that confidence carries through, a lot of time it does,” he said.

Somdev said the young team was focussed on getting back India to the elite World Group but have take things at a time.

“We are not even focussed (thinking) on rest of year but obviously, it is our goal to get back to the World Group but it`s baby steps. We have a job on our hands. All of us will try and pull each other through. Take it one step at a time,” Somdev said.

IANS