Somdev looking for an injury-free 2016

"The first time I came here was in 1997 when I was 12 and to play here a few years after that was really special. I always come back and practise here so I really love the place"

Somdev Devvarman beat James Ward of Great Britain to qualify for the main draw of the Aircel Chennai Open.   -  Special Arrangement

The 2016 Aircel Chennai Open is underway and Somdev Devvarman has again been entrusted to carry the Indian flag into battle in the Men’s singles event as he takes on Russian teenager Andrey Rublev in the first round.

Speaking at a promotional event at the Sportstar kiosk at the SDAT stadium, Somdev recalled some fond memories of Chennai, where he grew up and started playing tennis. “The first time I came here was in 1997 when I was 12 and to play here a few years after that was really special. I always come back and practise here so I really love the place”, said the former Chennai Open finalist.

Looking ahead to 2016, Somdev aims to improve his ranking having fallen down the pecking order in the last couple of seasons. He said, “Well, you want to always keep winning but I guess I’d like to stay healthy the whole year and try and get back into the top 100.”

A win in the opening round will see the Arjuna Awardee come up against top seed Stan Wawrinka. “It is a tricky first round tie but I am taking it one match at a time. But my goal is to win, to try and give myself a shot against Stan, so hopefully that happens!”