Today we have quite a few tennis players to be proud of. Recently, Leander Paes, who celebrated his 40th birthday a few months ago, won the US Open doubles title and now Somdev Devvarman recently improved his ranking to 98.
But it might to too soon to celebrate Somdev’s achievement. The 2011 Arjuna Award winner brought glory to the nation in 2010 when he won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Asian Games in Guangzhou. But since then, he has had little success to talk of. Here are the challenges that the Indian tennis player faces:
Time’s running out
Somdev is 28 years of age. He has, perhaps, another five years to improve his ranking, provided he does not get injured like in 2012. Considering that even the best players start losing their competitive edge after they celebrate their 30th birthday, Somdev may in fact have even less time. After all everyone’s already convinced Roger Federer is getting too old and he is just 32.
Somdev’s best ranking of 62 came in 2011. Next year, Somdev was hounded with injuries. With 2013 almost over, Somdev has to hope 2014 is a far better year. With Somdev steadily aging away from his athletic prime, the injuries will take a heavy toll on his body and will take longer to heal.
No major achievements so far
Somdev doesn’t have much to boast of on the international stage. Apart from his golds at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Asian Games in Guangzhou, he has had few moments of success.
The best result at a Grand Slam was making it to the second round. If Somdev is to enter the league of Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes and Sania Mirza, he has to perform better. Leander Paes, at 40, is still winning Grand Slams. Sania Mirza, though, she has retired from singles, still plays doubles and is fairly successful.