US Open - Somdev Out of Singles, Indians Do Well in Doubles


New York, Sep 4: Indian Somdev Devvarman's Grand Slam singles debut ended with a second round loss to German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the US Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows here.

The 23rd-seeded Kohlschreiber was given a tough fight by qualifier Somdev, ranked 162, before advancing 6-3, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 in two hours and 48 minutes here Thursday.

Somdev's loss brought an end to Indian campaign in the singles draw.

However, there was good news in doubles. Sania Mirza progressed to the second round in women's doubles and mixed doubles. Also clearing their first round hurdles were Mahesh Bhupathi in men's doubles and Leander Paes in mixed doubles.

Somdev had a comfortable first-round victory against 110th ranked Portuguese Fredrico Gil. But Kohlschreiber was a much tougher and more experienced opponent. The German has been in good form this season, having shocked World No 4 Novak Djokovic in the French Open and taking a set off Roger Federer in Wimbledon third round.

The 24-year-old Indian, however, had his chances against Kohlschreiber. Somdev had 20 break point opportunities in the match, but could convert only four. Three of his breaks came in the third set when he blanked Kohlschreiber.

Kohlschreiber broke Somdev twice in the first set even as the Indian wasted four of his five break point chances.

The German took the second set with a break of serve before Somdev came out firing and raced through the third set in just 29 minutes.

Kohlschreiber used all his experience to recover from the setback and wrap up the match in the next set, breaking Somdev twice.

Somdev, winner of back-to-back US collegiate titles, said the experience of playing at this level will put him in good stead.

"It will give me great confidence for the future," he said. "I took a set off Philipp and had some chances against him. Qualifying for the US Open was a great breakthrough for me and then to win a match here, it will help me get better and move up in the rankings. I will have to take the right steps, work harder and get stronger from here."

After being blanked out by Italian Flavia Pennetta in singles second round, Sania, playing with Francesca Schiavone of Italy in doubles was in a spot of bother before winning her match against Belarussian Ekaterina Dzehalevich and Czech Renata Voracova.

But Sania and Schiavone, seeded 14th, rallied from a set down to beat Dzehalevich and Voracova 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 in a tough encounter that lasted two hour and 19 minutes.

Sania then turned up for the mixed doubles event on the same court with her new partner Daniel Nestor of Canada and took just 40 minutes to dispatch Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan and Australian Ashley Fisher 6-3, 6-1.

It was not so easy for Paes and Cara Black of Zimbabwe in their first mixed doubles match. The second seeded pair were stretched by Patty Schnyder of Switzerland and Wesley Moodie of South Africa before they survived 6-4, 3-6, 11-9 in 70 minutes.

Paes and Black will face Itallian Flavia Pennetta and Serbian Dusan Vemic in the second round.

In men's doubles third seed Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of Bahamas coasted to a 6-3, 6-4 win over James Cerretani of the US and Lovro Zovko of Croatia. They will next meet American pair Jesse Levine and Ryan Sweeting.



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Title: US Open - Somdev Out of Singles, Indians Do Well in Doubles

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