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Somdev Devvarman : Losing passion for the game helped me make my decision

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Somdev Devvarman : Losing passion for the game helped me make my decision

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SportsCafe Desk


Somdev Devvarman said he lost his passion for tennis and that made it easier for him to call time on his professional career. The 31-year-old was also critical of the All India Tennis Association for their lack of vision, saying that he had given up on the federation and handled everything himself.

Devvarman announced his retirement from professional tennis on Dec 31, bringing an end to a promising but injury-prone career. He represented India at the Asian and Commonwealth Games, winning gold medals at both.

He came into the limelight at the 2009 Chennai Open, where he beat Carlos Moya and Ivo Karlovic en route to the final, where he lost to Marin Cilic.

“Certain things you can’t fake, and in tennis you can’t fake passion. That was one of my biggest strengths; one of the things that kept me going was my passion, and it kept diminishing every year. Once I knew it was going to be difficult to stay in the top-100, then it became an easy decision,” Devvarman told The Hindu.

“I am not too sure, not sure whether I will be here or in the States, or be involved in player development. I have done a lot of good things, and have a few ideas. I have a good work ethic and a lot of things to offer.”

The Agartala-born was critical of the way the AITA handled their players. He claimed that if he had criticized the AITA, he wouldn't have received a call from them. When asked whether he felt let down by the AITA, he replied, “Not really.”

“I did not expect anything from them! I always thought they were not really interested in helping or creating a system or to understand what it takes to make a professional tennis player. I was once called for a Davis Cup tie in 2007 and was stranded at the airport! These guys are a bunch of… you know...At that point I didn’t want to rely on unreliable people. I kept them on the side.”

Devvarman said he feels no regrets retiring at such a young age. 

“I am pretty happy, considering where I started. I was promising, but not that promising. If you look at a 18 or 19-year-old who has had a similar career path as mine, you are pretty quick to write him off. Once I went to the US, I was out of everybody’s radar. Then I came back here and was in the top-100 for a few years, and (India’s) top Davis Cup player. So, career-wise, no regrets. I gave my best," Devvarman said.

Devvarman managed a career-high ranking of 62 in 2011.

Asked if he thought he was good enough to break into the top-50, Devvarman said, “I think so. If I had done things a little different early in my career, I could have. But it’s easy in hindsight. 2011 would have been crucial if I had not been hurt. But I haven’t lost sleep thinking about what could have been.”

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