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‘I want to find nice Indian girl’

Indian tennis most promising new star, Somdev Devvarman, on aces, deuces and love alls.

entertainment Updated: Nov 09, 2009 21:05 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

Just 16 spots away from breaking into the top 100, Somdev Devvarman, India’s most promising tennis star, has his goals set for 2010. “Making it to the top 75, at 116, it’s not too far away. I want to get more involved with charity work in India. (Smiles) And yes, find myself a nice Indian girl.”

While he is working on the first two goals, he says he’d be happy “with a desi girl who has an engaging personality... someone I can talk to.”

His dream date would be… “a long, quiet drive. A stolen night… but definitely no loud music at a crowded disco”. And he wouldn’t want to talk tennis on his dream date. “We could talk politics, movies or exchange general opinions.”

Somdev admits that his female fan following has increased, since his four-hour-44-minute marathon win against South African Rik De Voest that helped India make it to the Davis Cup World Group. But life hasn’t had a turnaround. “I’m still focussed on my tennis. May be I’m a little busier now. Busy traveling… a different country every week, even though given a choice, I’d never fly. It’s no fun living out of the suitcase, but I don’t have a choice. Good thing is I’m an efficient packer.”

But the lad loves India. “This is home. When I’m here, I hang out with my family or our three dogs and binge on mom’s home-cooked food,” he says, adding in the same breath, “But in the US you get to practice with better players. You are surrounded by 20-25 of the best every day and that sharpens your game. I want to be a part of tennis history too.” Somdev also admits to having some inherent desi traits. “Like all Indians I’m superstitious and believe in small things to get out a hole. Like I have a lucky T-shirt…”

And does he see himself as the next Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni? “No, cricket is huge in India. But it would be nice if tennis got a little attention too.”