Hoping to break into top-50 by the end of 2011
New Delhi: Indian tennis` poster boy Somdev Devvarman today said he is hoping to break into top-50 by the end of this year but stopped short of predicting when he would win his first singles title, which he missed last night for the second time in his career.
Somdev lost his second ATP final yesterday in the South African Open — the first being in 2009 Chennai Open — but said the performance in Johannesburg has done a world of good to his confidence.
"It is a huge confidence-booster. But every week on the tour is different. I feel like I`m playing well and I`m hoping for more good weeks like this one, we`ll just have to wait and see what happens.
"I hope to be in the top-50 by the year end," Somdev told PTI from Johannesburg.
The sparkling performance in Johannesburg, where he ended runner-up to Kevin Anderson, gave a huge fillip to his ranking as he climbed to career-best 80 today.
Somdev said he was happy that sweating on the courts along with his support staff was giving him rich dividends.
"It was a really good week for me. I`m happy to see improvements in my game but there`s a lot more work to put in," he said.
However, the two-time NCAA champion could not hide his disappointment of missing out of a chance for a title.
"It`s obviously disappointing to lose, but I can take away a lot of positives from this week," he said.
Anderson, world number 59, was the third South African Somdev clashed with in the ATP 250 tournament. He beat Rik de Voest and Izak van der Merwe but said it was always difficult against big serving Anderson.
Somdev said giving any sort of chance to a player with the calibre of Anderson is always an invitation to trouble and that happened last night.
Somdev took the lead by winning the first set but allowed Anderson to come back. The Indian dropped his serve in the decisive third set and failed to convert break chances.
"Playing against a guy like Kevin who serves so well, getting broken is not good news. Not being able to convert the break points at that stage obviously prevented me from making a comeback," Somdev said.
"I felt I was very comfortable in the first set, obviously. But in the middle of the second set, when I lost serve there, I think that was the turning point for sure because up till that point I felt I was more comfortable.
"I felt I had had more chances on his serve than he had on mine. Once you give a good player like Kevin (that) kind of confidence and advantage, it`s always tough to come back," he said.