Devvarman drops a set on way to NCAA semifinals

May 25th, 2008 - 5:18 pm ICT by admin  

New York, May 25 (IANS) India’s Somdev Devvarman became the first player to reach the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) singles semifinals in three straight years Saturday, outlasting Baylor’s sophomore Denes Lukacs, 6-0, 6-7 (2), 6-3, at Tulsa, Oklahoma. Top seed and defending champion Devvarman, a University of Virginia senior, next takes on Stanford freshman and eighth seed Alex Clayton in the semifinals. Tennessee’s J.P. Smith, another freshman, plays Andre Begemann of Pepperdine in the other semifinal.

Devvarman looked a runaway winner as he took the first set without dropping a game against the Hungary-born Lukacs. He conceded nine points and served the set out with an ace.

Lukacs, after holding his serve at the start of the second set, was lucky in his second service game when he had to save four break points.

Devvarman himself survived four break points in the eighth game and was all set to take the match in straight sets after breaking the Hungarian’s service in the 11th game. But Lukacs broke right back to force a tie-breaker which he easily won 7-2.

In the third set, Devvarman saved a break point in the fifth game, and held his serve to go up 3-2. Devvarman broke Lukacs in the next game and went on to win the set at 6-3 and with it the match.

“Somdev just does a great job of being mentally tough and consistent and doing the same thing over and over,” Baylor men’s coach Matt Knoll said of Devvarman.

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