When Mahesh Bhupathi tweeted about the 'Ironman of Indian tennis,' the epithet wasn't misplaced. Somdev Devvarman has taken a long time (three years in professional tennis) to incur a major injury.
"I slept badly after playing the doubles final of the Los Angeles Farmers Classic in July. Soon after, I went to Washington for the Legg Mason Classic and the shoulder started to hurt," said Somdev on his strained deltoid muscle on the right shoulder.
"It will take two weeks to get back on court," the 26-year-old told HT on Tuesday. "Fitness has never been an issue. My legs are standing fine so I've been running and biking. If I'm fit, I hope to play next week in Malaysia."
Joining the bandwagon
Somdev, who received the Arjuna Award on Tuesday morning, joined the ATP players who are angered by the heavy tournament scheduling and payments.
"People come to watch us play in Grand Slams but we only get 12 percent of the revenue. The players are underpaid but a stand has been taken. There hasn't been a players' union in 20 years but we are about to see a change," said Somdev.
Rankings have never bothered the world No. 70. "If I manage to have one to two big results after I start playing, the top-50 will not be far away. Then again, rankings have never had a direct effect on the way I'm playing. Statistically, this is the best year I've had but I feel it's been average."
India have been seeded No. 1 in the Asia-Oceania Davis Cup group for next year.
"We hope to make it back to the World Group," he said before rushing off to catch a flight.