The Telegraph
Monday , April 8 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Somdev is banking on Paes’ expertise

Bangalore: Somdev Dev Varman, who led the players’ revolt against AITA, said on Sunday that veterans Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have provided useful ideas for the betterment of Indian tennis, but only time will tell if those ideas would work.

Paes, who was the only top player to not side with the rebel players, surprisingly joined the newly-formed Indian Tennis Players’ Association as one of the vice-presidents.

Somdev said all the players including Paes are on the same page on the issues raised by ITPA.

“I had a good chat with Lee (Paes). He has already planned new things and that is encouraging. I even talked to Hesh (Mahesh Bhupathi) and he has already got six ideas. I am trying to be a part of them. Will this work out or not, time alone will tell,” Somdev said after leading India to a 5-0 whitewash of Indonesia in Davis Cup.

About his role in ITPA, Somdev said he plans to improve things for all tennis players including those who have retired.

“I have been fortunate enough that the game has given me some respect. Therefore, I have the responsibility to do things the right way. Why not try. Honestly, I am going to put my efforts in and also do whatever I can to give something back,” he said.

Somdev said he was working hard to get back to the top-100 bracket even though the job was not easy.

“I w ant to be among top 100 players, but it would be tough because there are a lot of good players at the international level. However, I am happy to be among 200 because I was low in rankings when I started.”

Somdev said he has chalked out a plan along with his coach to gain 1,000 points in a year to get into the top 100.

“In my first quarter, I have gained 250 points. It will obviously be tough to get another 250 points in the second quarter. There are a lot of good players and it is never going to be easy. Even 300-ranked players come up with some quality games,” he said.