India’s Somdev through to Chennai Open second round (Lead)

January 7th, 2009 - 12:10 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 6 (IANS) Somdev Devvarman advanced to the second round of the Chennai Open tennis with a 6-3, 6-3 win against American Kevin Kim here Tuesday keeping Indian interest alive as in the $450,000 tournament.Devvarman’s success made up for the disappointing exit of qualifier and Indian Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna who was beaten 4-6, 6-7 (3) by Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan earlier in the evening.

Meanwhile, top seed Nikolay Davydenko underlined his class and World ranking of No.5 with a clinical 6-2, 6-3 mauling of Austrian Daniel Koellerer to enter the second round. Fourth seeded Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, too had it easy against qualifier Rajeev Ram of US as he outclassed him 6-4, 6-3.

The 23-year old Varman justified his wild card entry with a splendid performance as he took a mere 75 minutes to upstage the 114 ranked Kim.

Playing positive tennis, Varman, undoubtedly the most improved Indian player who made a massive jump to 202 in the ATP rankings, hit 10 aces and kept a tab on his errors.

“It is unbelievable to play in front of home crowd,” said Devvarman after the match.

“It wasn’t all that easy because he (Kim) had his chances in the first set but did not convert them. In the second, I was feeling a lot more comfortable and confident.”

Davydenko, the 27-year old Russian, was in a different league as German Kollerer, ranked a lowly 123, barely had a say in the proceedings.

“It is always nice to win a match, no matter against whom or in which round. Today, I was serving pretty well, but was not happy with my baseline game,” said Davydenko who will next play wild card entry and doubles specialist Lukas Dlouhy of Czech Republic.

The 28-year old Bopanna, after being blown off in the first set, staged a strong comeback in the second when he broke Istomin, ranked 109, but dropped serve to push the set into tie-breaker.

In the tie-breaker, Bopanna, who came through three tough qualifying round matches to make it to the main draw, committed far too many errors to let the 22-year old Uzbek off the hook.

Bopanna admitted he lost to a better player.

“My first serve percentage was not up to the mark and I didn’t put pressure on his second serve. That cost me a few games and made the difference as we have a pretty similar game,” said Bopanna, who have played against Istomin a couple of times in the past.

Having played the qualifying matches besides a doubles tie late Monday night did impact his game, Bopanna said.

“Towards the end of the second set, I was definitely feeling a bit tired, but this is not an excuse. Had I held serve after breaking him, the match would have gone into the third set and anything could have happened,” he said.

Later, sixth seeded and former French Open champion Carlos Moya of Spain overcame Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke 6-3, 7-6(4) to enter the second round.

The results (seeding in prefix):
Singles (1st round): 1-Nikolay Devydenko (RUS) bt Daniel Koellerer (AUT) 6-2, 6-3; 4-Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Rajeev Ram (USA) 6-4, 6-3; Andreas Beck (GER) bt Roko Karanusic (CRO) 6-1, 6-0; Somdev Dev Varman (IND) bt Kevin Kim (USA) 6-3, 6-3; Denis Istomin (UZB) bt Rohan Bopanna (IND) 6-4, 7-6 (3); Ivo Minar (CZE) bt Wayne Odesnik (USA) 6-3, 6-0; 8-Marcel Granollers (ESP) bt Lee Hyung-Taik (KOR) 6-4, 7-5; 6-Carlos Moya (ESP) bt Danai Udomchoke (THA) 6-3, 7-6(4).

Doubles (1st round): Marcel Granollers (ESP)/Santiago Ventura (ESP) bt Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP)/Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) 6-4, 6-2; Eric Butorac (USA)/Rajeev Ram (USA) bt Yuki Bhambri (IND)/Harsh Mankad (IND) 6-1, 6-2; Oliver Marach (AUT)/Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) bt Pablo Andujar (ESP)/Carlos Moya (ESP) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Scott Lipsky (USA)/David Martin (USA) bt Rohan Bopanna (IND)/Flavio Cipolla (ITA) 7-6 (9), 6-3; Alberto Martin (ESP)/Dudi Sela (ISR) bt Rogier Wassen (NED)/Lovro Zovko (CRO) 6-3, 6-1.

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