Somdev rallies to beat Venus

India’s top two singles players, Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri headed towards a possible semifinal clash in the USD 50,000 ATP Challenger event after beating their respective rivals in contrasting fashion here on Wednesday.

Top seed Somdev came back from a set down to beat New Zealand’s Michael Venus 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, 6-3 in almost a three-hour pre-quarterfinal contest.

The tall and well built Venus unleashed whipping forehands from both flanks while Somdev stoutly held in his characteristic way. An energetic display of aggressive volleying coupled with strong serve in the tie-breaker sealed the first set in the Kiwi’s favour.

But Venus who had played three rounds of qualifying and a three-set match earlier was exhausted and Somdev ran away with the second set 6-0 and took an upper hand in the third right away.

Venus did try valiantly to catch up but Somdev served effectively including aces to save the breakpoints.

Seventh-seeded Yuki made short work of Gerrard Granollers 6-2, 6-1 in quick time.
Somdev now faces Spain’s Jordi Samper-Montana in the quarterfinals while Yuki will clash with Frenchman Lucas Pouille in his last-eight stage match.

Results (prefix indicates seeding, Indians unless mentioned): 1-Somdev Devvarman bt Michael Venus (NZ) 6-7(4), 6-0, 6-3; Jordi Samper-Montana (Esp) bt Steven Diez (Can) 6-3, 3-1 (ret);  Lucas Pouille (Fra) bt Illya 4-Marchenko (Ukr) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; 7-Yuki Bhambri bt Gerard Granollers (Esp) 6-2, 6-1; Saketh Myneni bt 8-Thomas Fabbiano (Ita) 6-3, 6-2; Alexander Kudryavtsev (Rus) bt Blaz Rola (Slo) 6-4, 6-1; Sanam Singh bt N Sriram Balaji 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (1); 2-Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) bt Rui Machado (Por) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (0).

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