Hoping to break into top-50 by the end of 2011: Somdev

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Amanpreet Singh

New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) Indian tennis'' poster boy SomdevDevvarman today said he is hoping to break into top-50 by theend of this year but stopped short of predicting when he wouldwin his first singles title, which he missed last night forthe second time in his career.

Somdev lost his second ATP final yesterday in the SouthAfrican Open -- the first being in 2009 Chennai Open -- butsaid the performance in Johannesburg has done a world of goodto his confidence.

"It is a huge confidence-booster. But every week on thetour is different. I feel like I''m playing well and I''m hopingfor more good weeks like this one, we''ll just have to wait andsee what happens.

"I hope to be in the top-50 by the year end," Somdev toldPTI from Johannesburg.

The sparkling performance in Johannesburg, where he endedrunner-up to Kevin Anderson, gave a huge fillip to his rankingas he climbed to career-best 80 today.

Somdev said he was happy that sweating on the courtsalong with his support staff was giving him rich dividends.

"It was a really good week for me. I''m happy to seeimprovements in my game but there''s a lot more work to putin," he said.

However, the two-time NCAA champion could not hide hisdisappointment of missing out of a chance for a title.

"It''s obviously disappointing to lose, but I can takeaway a lot of positives from this week," he said.

Anderson, world number 59, was the third South AfricanSomdev clashed with in the ATP 250 tournament. He beat Rik deVoest and Izak van der Merwe but said it was always difficultagainst big serving Anderson.

Somdev said giving any sort of chance to a player withthe calibre of Anderson is always an invitation to trouble andthat happened last night.

Somdev took the lead by winning the first set but allowedAnderson to come back. The Indian dropped his serve in thedecisive third set and failed to convert break chances.

"Playing against a guy like Kevin who serves so well,getting broken is not good news. Not being able to convert thebreak points at that stage obviously prevented me from makinga comeback," Somdev said.

"I felt I was very comfortable in the first set,obviously. But in the middle of the second set, when I lostserve there, I think that was the turning point for surebecause up till that point I felt I was more comfortable.

"I felt I had had more chances on his serve than he hadon mine. Once you give a good player like Kevin (that) kind ofconfidence and advantage, it''s always tough to come back," hesaid.

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