Chennai:India's new tennis sensation Somdev Devvarman, who pulled off the biggest win of his career over former French Open champion Carlos Moya in the second round of the Chennai Open on Thursday, has warned opponents they have to play really hard to beat him here.
Somdev, playing for the first time before the home crowd since turning pro last year, upset sixth-seed Moya 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
"I'm a counter-puncher. Like Floyd Mayweather, you keep taking, you keep taking. But, I'm not going to fall down. You really have to earn your points to beat me. That's the kind of tennis I want to play.
"I'm not going to go away. I want be mentally strong, no matter what people throw at me, I'm not to quit. That's the player I want to be," Somdev said after the match.
The two-time US collegiate champion said he was far from being content even after beating Moya and will treat his quarter-final against big serving Ivo Carlovic as just another match.
"Hopefully, I'm not just in the quarter-finals here. I don't want to be a guy who is just satisfied with the job. But I don't want get too cocky or confident either.
It's just another match. I think I'm going to play Karlovic. I just have to find a way to beat him. Nothing else, nothing more fancy. I will treat it as just another match."
Talking about the turning point in the match, he said, "I was down 0-40 in the second game of third set. I think I came up with the goods there. I forced him into a few errors. I think I gave five break points, and another one. When I held there, I felt like I sent a message to him, that I wasn't going to go away. That he has to earn the match."
Somdev admitted that initially he had butterflies in his stomach finding Moya as an opponent across the court but said he stuck to his own kind of tennis to beat his fancied rival.
"I fought back hard. I did the right things to come back. That was me being a little bit intimidated by the fact that it was Carlos Moya at the other end.
"After a few baseline points I started believing more and more that I can actually win this match, playing my kind of tennis. I didn't have to do anything extraordinary. That's when I started believing that I can actually win the match," he said.