The Indian challenge ended at the $50,000 ATP Challenger Tour in Kolkata on Friday, with Somdev Devvarman falling by the wayside in the semi-final to third-seeded Evgeny Donskoy
Kolkata: The Indian challenge at the USD 50,000 ATP Challenger Tour ended on Friday after Russian third seed Evgeny Donskoy outplayed Somdev Devvarman to set up a final clash against a spirited Ilija Bozoljac of Serbia.
Barring the first set which the second seed Somdev won after breaking his opponent in the second game, it was the Russian all the way as he clinched the match 3-6 7-5 6-2.
The day, however, belonged to unseeded Bozoljac as the world-ranked 270 showed an astounding comeback after losing nine straight games to stun the top seed and world-ranked 93 Aleksandr Nedovyesov 0-6 7-5 6-3.
India found some solace in the doubles which was won by the wild card duo of Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh who downed Vishnu Vardhan and Divij Sharan 6-3 3-6 10-4.
Having beaten the Russian in ATP world Tour Masters in Miami last year, Somdev started as the favourite in front of a boisterous crowd.
Devvarman won the opening set with ease, with a break of serve in the second game. The next set witnessed lots of service breaks by both the players. Down 5-6, Devvarman dropped serve at a crucial stage to lose the set, as the match was tied 1-1.
In the decider, trailing 1-2, Devvarman seemed tentative on serve, as he started the game dropping two consecutive points, and allowed the Russian to walk away with a crucial break.
The next three games went with serves, but Devvarman surrendered his serve again in the eighth game to concede the game, set and match.
However, the Indian had something to cheer. The country's top singles player was awarded a special prize of Rs.100,000 by the Bengal Tennis Association for his outstanding performances in recent weeks, when he climbed up the ranking ladder to become world No 100.
"I really could hit well in the third set with good forehand and backhand... I felt really confident. "I got breaks and then broken, I got two or three winners that gave me confidence into the third set," Donskoy who is recovering from a back injury after making a third round exit against Lleyton Hewitt in the US Open, said.
"After the US Open, I played in Russia where I had a back injury. But now I've started to play again," Donskoy said ahead of his final against Bozoljac.