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Somdev eyes spot in top 60

Hyderabad: Having overcome a shoulder injury, India’s top singles player Somdev Dev Varman is now aiming to break into the top 60 in the ATP rankings.

“I have had a good 2013 so far… Coming back from a ranking of 600 into the top 100… So now I feel there’s a good chance for me to build on that and get back in the top-60,” Somdev, whose career-best ranking has been 62, said on Monday.

One of his greatest achievements so far has been reaching the finals of the Chennai Open in 2009. Asked when a similar performance could be expected from him again, Somdev said: “Hopefully, soon… You never know. All I can do, or for that matter any player can, is really work hard, try his best. Sometimes results come and sometimes they don’t. So I think all you have to do is work hard and try to improve, put in a good effort and then let whatever happens, happen.”

On expectations people have from him, Somdev said he was focused on putting his best foot forward. “I don’t know about expectations… I have certain goals that I want to accomplish. First of all, if I stay injury-free in 2014, it will be good for me… I have been working hard to get stronger, to make sure that I don’t have injuries. If that happens, I would like to give it a shot in a Slam, compete harder with the top 20 guys and, maybe, have a few more wins over there,” he insisted.

“I think if I start doing that more consistently, then the ranking would take care of itself,” Somdev added.

He said he was also planning to play in the Asian Games, which is scheduled to be held next year.

Meanwhile, Rohan Bopanna, who is all set to partner Pakistan’s Aisam-ul Haq Qureshi again, hoped that the partnership would work well.

“I will be playing with Qureshi from the Chennai Open, which begins on December 30… I’m looking forward to that. It has been a successful partnership in the past for both of us. So we are happy to be back together. It’s all about working hard, and doing well in all the tournaments, especially the Master Series and the Grand Slams,” Bopanna said.

Meanwhile, Swiss tennis star Stanislas Wawrinka says he feels mentally stronger and can challenge the very best on the big stage. Labelled as a player who lacked mental strength, he is set to compete in the Chennai Open later this month., was labelled as a player, who lacked mental strength after consistently faltering against top players in big matches.