Tripura cheers Somdev’s Davis Cup victoryBy Sujit Chakraborty, IANS
Monday, September 21, 2009
AGARTALA - Crackers were burst, people danced on the streets and boxes of sweets were passed around - it was celebration time in Agartala Monday as residents cheered tennis sensation and local boy Somdev Devvarman’s victory in South Africa that took India to Davis Cup world group for the first time in 11 years.
Sports lovers, cutting across age, rejoiced at Somdev’s sensational win over South African Rik De Voest in the reverse singles play-off in Johannesburg Sunday.
Somdev’s father Pravanjan Devvarman, a retired income tax commissioner, said: “We are very proud of him. He put up a very good show against Rik De Voest.
“Somdev gave his career’s finest presentation in the contest and we really expect that he would play some good tennis in the future,” Pravanjan told IANS in Agartala just after wishing his son by phone.
Somdev’s relatives termed his victory as “historic” for Indian tennis.
“We are proud of him and we are certain he will do better in the coming days,” said Dayamay Debbarman, Somdev’s uncle.
Somdev visited his home in Agartala two months back and was given a reception by the Tripura Tennis Association.
“Somdev’s success proves beyond doubt that there is no dearth of talent in the northeast and that all these bright youngsters need a platform or an opening to prove their capability and ability,” Tripura Sports Council secretary Kamal Saha told IANS.
“With Somdev’s performance, now the world would know better about the northeast, where despite no scope for developing tennis, there are capable players in the region,” he added
Somdev belongs to Tripura’s royal family. He is the grandson of Tripura’s late royal scion Bikramendra Kishore Debbarman, popularly known as Bidurkarta.
Tripura Tennis Association secretary Sujit Roy said: “Somdev’s father Pravanjan excelled in table tennis and cricket during his student life.
“We are really thrilled by Somdev’s performance and energy. This boy, who descended from Tripura’s tribal nobility, will earn much credit for India in future in the field of sports,” Roy said.
“After Somdev came second at the Chennai Open in January this year, the Tennis Federation of India (TFI) decided to develop a tennis court in Agartala for him at a cost of Rs.200,000.”
Tripura Tennis Association has requested the Tripura government to provide land for the proposed tennis court.