Rohan Bopanna and Somdev Devvarman trained at the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy (SMTA) on Monday with the objective of putting up a better showing in 2014.

“Yes, having entered a Grand Slam final once, I know what it takes to be there. So, it is a question of taking more steps to realise my dream of winning one,” said Bopanna before his long training session as part of the 10-day camp organised by the Indian Tennis Players Association, under the supervision of American coach Scott McCain.

“It is obvious that the sport is getting tougher every year and you have to raise the bar constantly to be in the elite group, and so we are here for off-season training. I have had eight different partners in the recent past, and the focus has been on constantly improving.”

“I have decided to re-combine with Pakistan’s Aisam Qureshi for next year. Having grown together on the circuit from the Challengers, ITFs and ATP events, we know each other’s game pretty well and hope to improve our record,” said Bopanna, who reached the US Open men’s doubles final with Qureshi in 2010.

“We also complement each other very well. We know our strengths and weaknesses and can sort out many issues quickly — on and off the court. It is not ideal to keep changing doubles partners if you want to stay at the top,” he pointed out.

“It is great to be here at this wonderful academy which has all the facilities. I love the quiet ambience here,” he said.

“Most tournaments are now held on synthetic surfaces, though I love to play on grass. But having decided to completely focus on doubles now, my aim is to work hard, believe in myself and keep improving,” Bopanna signed off.

Oozing confidence

Meanwhile, Devvarman — back after a break because of surgery — is also oozing confidence ahead of the Chennai Open this month.

“It was quite tough to overcome the break. Hopefully, 2014 will be much better for me if I do the right things at the right time.

It is great to be here with the other leading Indian men’s players,” he said.

“Right now, I am completely fit and eager to improve my ranking.

“The motivation is always there and my target right now is to keep working hard, beat the tough guys and come closer to my career-best ranking of World No. 62,” he concluded.

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