Poor serve, missed chances proved costly: Somdev

January 11th, 2009 - 10:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 11 (IANS) Somdev Devvarman blamed his poor service game and inability to convert the 10 breakpoints for his loss to third seeded Marin Cilic in the final of the $450,000 ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament here Sunday. “I think not converting the breakpoints was not the best way to go about. My first serve percentage was like 50 per cent and it hurts. He was also taking my second serve early and making it play,” said the 23-year old Devvarman, whose ranking is likely to improve from the present 202 to 153.

However, Devvarman said his maiden tour final was a learning experience for him.

“I don’t want to get too negative when I lose or too positive when I win. The good thing about losing is that you pick up a few things about your game that you can work on,” said Devvarman, the first Indian in 10 years to reach an ATP tour final.

Complimenting Cilic for a fine performance, Devvarman said: “He plays high percentage tennis and is very solid from the back where he has not many weaknesses. I thought he played some amazing shots today.”

Cilic, who became the youngest winner of Chennai Open at 20, and is ranked 27, said he was not happy with his performance.

“My game was up and down, but I played well at crucial moments. I was not serving well and made many unforced errors. When I was up 5-2 in the tie-breaker, I lost concentration, but from thereon played well,” said the Croat.

About his strategy for the match, Cilic said: “I had noticed that he was pretty good on his forehand and running well. I tried to put him on the backfoot and play more to his backhand.”

Cilic, who Sunday won his second ATP tour title following the one at New Haven ,US, last year, felt that the pressure was more on Devvarman because of crowd expectations.

Cilic predicted that Devvarman would break into top 100 ranking this year. “He has a lot of potential and his performance in this tournament will give him a lot of confidence.”

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