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TENNIS: Somdev upsets Moya
CHENNAI, jan 8 (AP):
Published on 8 Jan. 2009 11:08 PM IST
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Unheralded Somdev Devvarman of India upset two-time winner Carlos Moya of Spain in the second round of the Chennai Open on Thursday. The 23-year-old Devvarman, ranked No. 202, pulled off the biggest win of his career with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over the No. 42-ranked Moya, who was the sixth seed in the tournament he had won in 2004 and ‘05. Making the first quarterfinal of his career, Devvarman will now meet fourth-seeded Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, who outplayed Czech player Ivo Minar 6-1, 6-4. Others advancing to the quarterfinals were seventh-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic and eighth seed Marcel Granollers of Spain. Tipsarevic defeated Israel’s Dudi Sela 7-6 (3), 6-4 and Granollers coasted to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Andreas Beck of Germany. Devvarman, the U.S. collegiate champion in 2006 and ‘07 for the University of Virginia, had received a wild card for the tournament in the city where he honed his skills as a child. Devvarman, who last year played in two Davis Cup ties without much success, on Thursday proved a tough rival for Moya, a former French Open champion. Moya broke in the second game of the opening set, only to see Devvarman pull even at 3-3. Another break by the veteran Spaniard in the 10th game decided the first set. Devvarman won the second set when he broke Moya in the 11th game and then held his own serve with ease. Moya trailed after dropping serve in the third game of the third set, and Devvarman played with aplomb to deny him a chance of getting back into the contest. “I sent a message to him that I just wasn’t going to go away,” Devvarman said. “When you see a player on the other side trying to do too much, you know he’s under pressure,” added Devvarman, who became the first Indian player to reach the quarterfinals of this event since Leander Paes made the semifinals in 1998. “Hopefully, I’m not just quarters. I’m not one of those guys who gets content easily,” he said. Moya said his Indian rival had an advantage with organizers scheduling matches in the heat of the Chennai afternoon to make up for matches rained out on Thursday. “The heat affected me more than it bothered him,” said Moya. “He plays much better than his rankings reflect,” Moya said. “I was not surprised, because I saw him play two days ago and knew he was very fast and was solid from the back of court.”

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