The Ton Is Here!
He’s done it! Finally!
Somdev Devvarman has cracked the top 100 on the ATP tour. Another milestone in his fledgling career.
He becomes just the second Indian male player in a decade or so to be ranked amongst the top 100. Leander Paes was the last Indian male to be ranked so, achieving that distinction in 1999.
Somdev’s rise to the list of centurions has not been meteoric; rather it has been steady but sure.
He is now ranked 96 in the world. However, he is unlikely to be perched there for too long; he was thwarted in his bid to defend last year’s accumulated points.More on that later.
The I Of Dev
Devvarman is well-known and well-liked in the US of A and India. He holds the distinction of winning two NCAA titles in 2007 and 2008 trouncing John Isner in the 2007 final.
His nicknames include Buji,Dev & Sommy. He is best remembered by Indian tennis fans for his marathon victory over South African Rik de Voest which propelled India to the Davis Cup World Group playoffs for the first time in 11 years.
Somdev is atypical of the Indian tennis player; he prefers to play from the back of the court and relies on his superior fitness and has a penchant for engaging in long rallies. This very tough conditioning stood him in good stead in the 4 hour plus struggle against Rik De Voest in the first reverse singles against South Africa in the Davis Cup in 2009.
Somdev turned pro in 2008 winning his first two Futures tournaments, the singles as well as the doubles.
To date, he has four Futures and one Challenger to his credit.
His career stats read 17–20 but statistics never tell the whole story. His scalps include notables such as Justin Gimelstob , Sam Querrey,Xavier Malisse, Carlos Moya, Taylor Dent, Ivo Karlovic and Marin Cilic.
Somdev’s professional singles career has progressed as listed below-
2008 : 1033 to 204.
2009: 204 to 126
2010: 126 to 96.
The Best To What Next?
Somdev’s best performance in an ATP tournament was at the 2009 Chennai Open – an Australian Open tune-up – where he finished runner-up to Marin Cilic. Carolos Moya and big-serving Ivo Karlovic were swept aside by an imperious and impetuous Varman on his way to the final. Cilic ,however, proved too high a hurdle to cross then; Devvarman losing in straight sets 6–4, 7–6(3).
Devvarman had his revenge later that year knocking out Cilic at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic; he truly is a giant-killer.Incidentally,these are the very same points that he failed to defend this week ensuring that he will be out of the top 100 almost as soon as he made the roster.
But Devvarman is not too concerned. He believes that he belongs in the top 70s and will be there soon.Now that he is on the cusp of usurping ranking tonnage , he feels that the qualifying rounds of Grand Slams need no longer be barriers in his quest for tennis preeminence.He hopes to forego the grind of the stultifying rounds.
Somdev has to date entered and exited two Grand Slams ; the 2009 US Open where he reached the second round losing to Philipp Kohlschreiber and the 2010 French Open where he was beaten in the first round losing to Marco Chiudinelli in a five-setter.
Somdev Devvarman, along with Yuki Bhambri, is India’s flag-bearer at the Davis Cup for the near future with Paes’ impending retirement from the game not too far distant. India’s Davis Cup fortunes, for now, appear to be in capable hands.
Here’s to Somdev and India! Cheers to him as good as he is and cheers to us as good as we are!
Have a great day!
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