India has 50-50 chance against South Africa: Somdev

Somdev Devvarman says his team has a 50-50 chance against South Africa in the Davis Cup tie, the winner of which will advance to the World Group.

updated: July 02, 2009 15:50 IST
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New Delhi:

Somdev Devvarman, India's best bet in the singles, says his team has a 50-50 chance against South Africa in the upcoming away Davis Cup tie, the winner of which will advance to the World Group.

India advanced to the play-offs, scheduled for September 18-20, after getting a walkover from Australia in the Asia-Oceania Group I.

Somdev, country's numero uno singles player, said both teams were strong but a formidable doubles pair give India some advantage.

"I think it is going to be fifty-fifty. We know them and they know us because we are regular on challengers. They are friends. We are prepared and they are also prepared but we have slight edge because of solid doubles pair," Somdev said.

Somdev has been struggling on the Tour ever since his path-breaking achievement in January's Chennai Open where he ended runner up. He has been finding it tough to move beyond the first or second rounds and all his three attempts to make the singles main draw of Grand Slams went in vain.

Asserting that his current lean patch is just about being unlucky, Somdev promised a good show in the tie and said he will give his best to take India to the World Group.

"In the game of tennis, players are up and down from time to time. It's not that something is wrong with my game. It's just being unlucky. You cannot win all the matches."

"I will like to have my chances again. Actually I am playing good tennis," Somdev said.

"And I am ready for the tie. My preparation is going to be the same. I will be going there early to get used to the conditions and do my best like I did against the Chinese Taipei tie," he said.

Somdev was also not averse to the idea of fielding teen sensation Yuki Bhambri in the singles if need arises in the tie against South Africa.

"Why not? The guy is capable and playing good these days. The current results show that is going to be the future player. He is a great player and if we have not much options too," he said.

Speaking about his Wimbledon debut, where he made a first round exit while playing against multiple Grand Slam winners Mahesh Bhuapthi and Mark Knowles he said, "We tried to stay composed. We had chances to upset and were disappointed to lose."

"Me and Kevin Anderson talked about their weaknesses and strengths. But they are seasoned pros and do it for living. And at that level it was really tough."

Asked how it felt playing against the Davis Cup teammate Bhupathi he said, "We were friendly and just opponents on the court. We are not enemies. He was very supportive and wished me luck after the match."