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Somdev hopeful of improving Grand Slam singles record

New Delhi: He has won just one Grand Slam singles match in his career but on the back of a reasonably successful season so far, Somdev Devvarman is hopeful of improving his statistics at tennis Majors as he prepares to compete in his first-ever Wimbledon singles main draw.

Out of five appearances at the Grand Slam tournaments ever since turning pro in 2008, Somdev had made four first round exits and reached the second round of the US Open in 2009.

Coming into this year’s Wimbledon, Somdev got the better of world number 33 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez but not before losing five straight first round matches.

But the Indian star says the win over Guillermo has boosted his confidence and he is hopeful of bettering his records at the tennis majors.

He will open his Wimbledon campaign against Denis Gremelmayr of Germany.

“It’s always good to win and to win against a good and experienced player like Garcia-Lopez. It is a definite confidence booster,” Somdev told PTI from London.

“Yes, it is for sure. Playing in the main draw of the Wimbledon is quite exciting. I’m always hopeful. I’m quite happy with my preparations on the grass this year,” he said as he made his first-ever direct entry into the Wimbledon singles main draw.

Last year, he had lost in the second round of the Wimbledon qualifying event.

If Somdev crosses the first round hurdle, he is expected to play against 18th seed Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the second round.

Somdev’s 2011 season has been quite rewarding, if one looks at the rankings. From 108th at the start of year, he reached career-best 66th in May and is now placed 68th.

He beat some top players like Garcia-Lopez and world number 34 Milos Raonic but also lost to some unheralded ones such as world number 232 Antonio Veic and Matthew Ebden (150).

He lost five first-round matches in a row but he was also successful in making the pre-quarterfinal of the ATP Masters at Indian Wells and reaching the final of Johannesburg event.

Asked if he considers this inconsistency or just drop in intensity after playing some energy-sapping matches, he said.

“I don’t think it’s a drop in intensity. I guess it’s just a bad day, not being able to read the conditions too well, etc.

The desire to win is always strong, so the intensity doesn’t drop.”

“It’s been quite an eventful year, some ups and some downs. But overall it’s been a good year thus far.”

Somdev’s liking of hard courts is no secret but the Tripura-born Indian said he does not hate grass and clay courts.

“I like playing on both those surfaces as well. It’s just a matter of getting used to the conditions and adapting your game accordingly,” he said.

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