Where: Chennai, India
January 11, 2009 : At the 2009 Chennai Open tennis meet, the first ATP* tournament of the season, India’s Somdev Devvarman established himself as the country’s top singles tennis player. He reached the finals of the tournament, beating two-time Chennai Open former champion and world number 42, Spain’s Carlos Moya, and world number 25 Ivo Karlovic of Croatia. Rainer Schuettler of Germany, whom he was to have played in the semi-final, pulled out of the tournament due to injury. Devvarman lost the finals to Marin Cilic of Croatia.
Devvarman hails from the Northeastern state of Tripura. He is a graduate from the University of Virginia in the USA, where he played college tennis tournaments. Somdev said, when asked how he felt after coming into the spotlight, “Whether I win or lose, the important thing is that I should not change…You don’t worry about the press and you don’t worry about fame. You just keep working to get better and better.” He is sure to win hearts, and not just tennis matches, with a mindset like his.
*ATP stands for Association of Tennis Professionals. It organizes the biggest worldwide tennis tour for men, the ATP World Tour. It also publishes rankings for men. Women’s Tennis Association is the corresponding organization for women tennis players.