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Somdev storms into ATP Challenger semis

Somdev Devvarman celebrated his 29th birthday on Thursday by beating Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain in the men's singles quarterfinals of the USD 50,000 ATP Challenger Tour in Kolkata

Kolkata: Birthday boy Somdev Devvarman staged a remarkable rally after conceding the first set to tame Spain's Adrian Memendez Maceiras and march into the semi-final of the $50,000 State Bank of India ATP Challenger Tour here Thursday.

Devvarman, who got a wild card for the tourney, finished on the right side of a 4-6, 6-1 and 6-3 squareline in the 122-minute quarter final clashon the synthetic court of the Bengal Tennis Association.

In the opening set, the Indian was broken in the very first game, but he broke back to draw parity at 4-4.

However, the Spaniard again broke Devvarman in the ninth game and retained the tenth to close the set.

In the second, Devvarman was at his best as he brushed aside the 208th ranked Spaniard's challenge.

The decider saw Devvarman, who turned 30 during the day, grabbing an early break at 1-1 and opening up a 3-1 lead by holding serve in the fourth game. The next four games went with serves, but the Indian took the match by attacking and demolishing Maceiras in the ninth.

"I've stopped celebrating birthdays after I was 21," Somdev said in a lighter vein after his quarters victory at the BTA Courts.

"It's nice I get a lot of messages, good wishes from a lot of friends all over the world. That's nice. I can't do anything crazy.

"Maybe I will have a piece of cake and enjoy my time. My sister is here. Have a nice dinner with them, sleep early so that I can be early for tomorrow."

Devvarman, now ranked 100 in the ATP list, would take on third seeded Russian Evgeny Donskoy in the semi-final Friday

He stopped the dream run of qualifier T. Chen from Chinese Taipei in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

In the opening set, Chen was broken in the third game which ultimately helped Donskoy take the set 6-4.

The Russian, who ousted India's Yuki Bhambri Wednesday, seemed totally in control as he broke Chen at 4-4 in the second set, and retained the lead without any hiccups to make it to the pre-summit round.

Kazakhstan top seed Aleksandr Nedovyesov also entered the last four by breezing past eight seeded David Guez from France 6-1,6-3.

In the men's doubles, wild cards from either half of the draw, Saketh Myneni-Sanam Singh and Divij Sharan-Vishnu Vardhan won their respective semifinal matches to make it an all-Indian final, which will be held tomorrow. I

RESULTS:

Men's Singles - Quarterfinals

[1] O. Nedovyesov (KAZ) d [8] D. Guez (FRA) 6-1 6-3
[2] [WC] S. Devvarman (IND) d A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 4-6 6-1 6-3
[3] E. Donskoy (RUS) d [Q] T. Chen (TPE) 6-4 6-4
[4] I. Bozoljac (SRB) d A. Velotti (ARG) 6-4 6-4

Men's Doubles - Semifinals
[WC] S.Myneni (IND)/S. Singh (IND) d G. Granollers (ESP)/A Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 6-3 6-7(5) 10-7
[WC] D. Sharan (IND) / V. Vardhan (IND) d O. Nedovyesov (KAZ)/B. Rola (SLO) 6-4 6-4

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