Virginia senior tennis player Somdev Devvarman recently returned from his homeland of India where he made his Davis Cup debut in India’s 3-2 victory over Uzbekistan. The top-ranked player in the ITA singles rankings is now preparing to lead the No. 1 Cavaliers at this week’s ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle. He caught up with virginiasports.com to look back at his trip and preview this week’s tournament.
Question: You just arrived home from India where you made your Davis Cup debut. How was that experience for you?
Devvarman: It was a good experience and I learned a lot. I got to be a part of team tennis at a very high level. I was fortunate to have some very good and experienced players on our team that I was able to learn from.
Question: How exciting was it to represent your country at the highest level of team tennis?
Devvarman: That is one of the things any athlete can hope for, to represent your country. It was one of my dreams as a kid and I am very happy to have been there.
Question: How much were you able to keep track of Virginia’s matches while you were on the other side of the world?
Devvarman: I was really into how the team was doing. I watched the livestats for a little while, but it was late and I needed to get some sleep. But first thing in the morning, I woke up and went to check the scores. I was happy to see the team the won.
Question: What does it say about this team that it was able to win two matches against NCAA Tournament caliber teams without you or Dom Inglot in the lineup?
Devvarman: It shows that our team is very deep. We have some very good players at the bottom of our lineup that would be playing in the top four anywhere else in the country. We are lucky to have them all here and it means that if we are missing a player of two due to injury or something else, we can be still be successful.
Question: This week you head to National Team Indoors as the No. 1 seed. How excited is this team for the chance to take on the best teams in the nation?
Devvarman: We are very excited and happy to be there. We just need to take it one match at a time and we have Penn State first. We aren’t going to look past that, we will just let the other teams knock each other out and whoever stands in our way we will be ready for.
Question: How much confidence does it give you to have already beaten two teams in the field (Illinois, Notre Dame), both on the road?
Devvarman: We have a really tough team and have been through a lot already this season. We have already beaten some of the elite teams out there. It gives us confidence that we can beat them, even playing on the road. This week will be on neutral courts, so we feel confident about it.
Question: The last time the tournament was in Seattle, two years ago, the team struggled, losing two of three matches. Are you looking for some redemption this time around?
Devvarman: Obviously Treat and I, and the coaches went through that two years ago. We learned a lot from that experience. This time it will be a whole new experience with a whole new team. We are looking forward to it. I think every guy is as ready as he has ever been and is ready to go out there and play good tennis.