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Interviews

Roddick, Djoker a laugh riot
Deepti Patwardhan, Hindustan Times
July 24, 2011
First Published: 01:15 IST(24/7/2011)
Last Updated: 01:18 IST(24/7/2011)

Tennis fans have been bemoaning the lack of colourful personalities on the court. But take Somdev Devvarman's word on this, the locker room is full of it.

"The men's locker room is a very friendly place," he says. "We joke about each other, there's always some good stories from matches. Or we make fun of the doubles players- we love doing that. "Novak (Djokovic) is always doing something stupid or (Andy) Roddick says something funny, he's got a great sense of humour. All the guys get along well with each other. There is no big filter; even the bigger guys are very respectful."

Having been on the tour for roughly three years now, the Indian 26-year-old has been to the biggest of the tournaments and rubbed shoulders with the best in the business. Earlier in the year, he faced Roger Federer in Dubai and Rafael Nadal at the Miami Masters. "Both of them are very focused before the match," he says. "There's something I can take away from that. They do whatever they can to get ready. We had a chat the day after I hit with Roger, and whenever I see Rafa now we say hello to each other."

Though a lonesome struggle for most of the time, the solidarity between players, big or small, is forged through having to share dressing rooms with a player you have just beaten or lost to. "We are all supportive of each other. We realise what the other person is going through and support each other. It's healthy competition for most part." And part of that support manifests in keeping each other's secrets. "The male players gossip a lot. But we also know how not to gossip to the press." What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room!


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