Somdev’s dream run ends with loss to Ivo KarlovicAugust 7th, 2009 - 12:23 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Aug 7 (IANS) Somdev Devvarman’s dream run at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic here ended when the Indian could not repeat his Chennai Open victory against big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic and lost 5-7, 1-6.
The back-to-back US college champion, who knocked out Karlovic’s compatriot sixth-seeded Marin Cilic in the second round, had beaten Karlovic 7-6, 6-4, in the run-up to the Chennai final in January, but Thursday he lost the battle after taking the first set to a tie.
The India Number One, who had attacked Karlovic’s second serve, pinning him to his backhand, was at his wits’ end when the Croat fired 63 percent of his booming first serves.
Devvarman could not find an answer to the leading aces server on the Tour as Karlovic struck 14 aces, 11 of these in the first set. Though the Indian himself hit 70 percent of his first serves, he was broken in the last game of the first set and twice in the second set.
Somdev said it was pretty tough to do anything when Karlovic was serving so well and that the momentum swung the Croat’s way after the first set.
“It’s really hard to break his serve when he is serving that well. I was doing well and then he got the break. Momentum went his way after that.”
After the impressive showing here and his qualification for the LA Open main draw, Devvarman will jump some 10 spots in the rankings, 143rd after reaching a career-high of 127 last month, when the rankings are announced Monday.
Devvarman said: “I feel like the summer started on the right note.”
Karlovic, 11th seed, next plays top seed and the second in the aces race Andy Roddick who beat the third best server on the circuit Sam Querrey 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. In the process of overpowering his countryman, the American became the 36th player in the open era to win 500 matches and only the fourth active player behind Swiss Roger Federer (657), Spaniard Carlos Moya (573) and Lleyton Hewitt (511).
Hewitt’s stay in the tournament, however, was cut short by defending champion and Argentine second seed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (2/7).
Hewitt, who blasted 13 aces, took the first set with an early break, but lost the second as he dropped the seventh game after squandering a 40-15 advantage.
Del Potro, who smashed 18 aces, served for the match at 5-4 but the Australian broke him at love and forced the tie-breaker. The Argentine clinched it, winning the last five points with Hewitt making a couple of unforced errors.
Del Potro’s next opponent is fifth-seeded Robert Soderling who beat Frenchman Marc Gicquel, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.
Tenth seed Tommy Haas of Germany defeated Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 in a clash between two former top-10 players and will next meet fourth-seeded Chilean Fernando Gonzalez who beat American Wayne Odesnik 6-2, 6-4.
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Tags: aces, andy roddick, backhand, carlos moya, compatriot, countryman, ivo karlovic, last game, legg mason, legg mason tennis, legg mason tennis classic, lleyton hewitt, marin cilic, open victory, quarter finals, roger federer, sam querrey, somdev devvarman, spaniard, wits end