New Delhi:His Grand Slam debut has given Somdev Devvarman the belief that he belongs to the big league and the rising tennis star now wants to win a Davis Cup World Group berth for India.
Somdev, who became the first Indian in eight years to qualify for a Grand Slam at the US Open, lost his second round match to Phillip Kohlschreiber on Thursday night but not without showing his class.
After playing in his maiden Grand Slam, Somdev has already started thinking about the next assignment -- India's away play-off tie against South Africa.
A victory would mean that India enters the World Group after a gap of 11 long years.
"Davis Cup is the next target. It's a big tie and I would like to win it for India," Somdev said after his match against German 23rd seed.
Since his advent on the scene, much of India's hopes in the Davis Cup rely on Somdev. He won both of his singles matches in the last tie against Chinese Taipei before Australia gave India a walkover.
His Grand Slam debut was not as eventful as his breakthrough performance at Chennai Open at the start of the year but Somdev drew a lot of positives from the US Open.
Somdev beat higher ranked players in the qualfiers to enter the main draw and fought his heart out in the second round but the couldn't get past against the experience of Kohlschreiber.
"It has been a great experience for me. I think I played well this last week and half. I am taking a lot of positives from the tournament.
"More belief that I belong with the big boys and that I am on the right path. Just need to keep working hard on my game," Somdev said.
The two-time US Collegiate champion though rues the missed chances against his second round rival.
He had breakpoints in every set but the conversion was poor. He had five chances in the first set but could cash in on just one. Then he failed to convert any of the three chances in the second and fourth sets.
Although he blanked Kohlschreiber in the third set to raise hopes of a great comeback, breaking him thrice but at the same time he squandered six chances.
"It was a tough one. I could have played better, but I must give credit to Phillip for the way he played. He showed why he is number 23 in the world.
"I had my opportunities and should have converted a few more of those (breakpoints). Phillip came up with some clutch plays and serves at crucial times," he said in the hindsight.