Somdev upstages Cilic, avenges Chennai Open defeat

Somdev upstages Cilic, avenges Chennai Open defeat

Somdev upstages Cilic, avenges Chennai Open defeat

Somdev Devvarman celebrates after his win over Marin Cilic on Tuesday. AFP

The Indian qualifier, who lost to Cilic in his maiden ATP final in the Chennai Open earlier this year, took one hour and 42 minutes to sent the Croatian packing 7-5, 6-4 to reach the third round where he would meet either the big-hitting Croatian Ivo Karlovic or German Raine Scheuttler.

"It's definitely the biggest win of my career. He's a great player. He's in top 15 already and on his way to the top 10," Somdev gushed after the win.

"All along I played well. My plan was to compete as hard as possible. I took my chance and I'm proud of the result," said Somdev who saved five of the seven break points that his opponent had.

Cilic had ended Somdev's dream run in January in Chennai, where the 24-year-old had reached his first ATP final with wins over players like Carlos Moya and Ivo Karlovic.
Somdev said he did not have any butterflies in the stomach in the second round match and neither was he out to settle an old score.

"It wasn't my first Tour final tonight so I wasn't as nervous going out," said the 153rd-ranked Indian.

"But there was no (revenge factor) for my loss to him in Chennai. There's no ill feelings. We were just two competitors out there today," Somdev added.

Somdev, who won the NCAA singles titles in 2007-08 while playing collegiate tennis at nearby University of Virginia, said competing in the qualifying rounds gave him an advantage against Cilic.

"I already had three matches under my belt and this was his first match of the tournament. I just wanted to go out there and play my game, compete as hard as I could and let the chips fall where they may," said the youngster.

Having played a lot of tennis at the University of Virginia, Somdev had enough support from the stands and if he can pull off a couple of more surprises, he might run into top seed Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals of the hardcourt event.

"Andy who?" quipped Somdev.

"I'm aware of where I am but I have to take it one match at a time," he said.

On a more serious note, he said, "I've put in a lot of work. I'm doing things the right way.
""I'll take a deep breath when I have some breathing space," said Somdev who played four matches in as many days.