Monday, June 30, 2008

Twin triumph for Somdev Dev Varman at Rochester

Wimbledon 2008 may have ended early for some of India's tennis stars but across the Atlantic Ocean a lanky 23-year-old proved just why he is the country's next big tennis hope.

On Sunday, Somdev Dev Varman won both the singles and doubles titles at the $10,000 Buffalo Bills tournament in Rochester. The double NCAA champion had been playing his first professional tournament since passing out of the University of Virginia last month.

And the victory, his second Futures title on US soil this year, was especially sweet -- the eighth seed breezed through his five matches in straight sets. In fact, his first two opponents couldn't win a single game.

After he beat American Alexander Domijan 6-2, 6-2 in the singles final, Dev Varman was back on court with college mate Treat Huey, eking out a 6-1,4-6,12-10 win over Americans Bryan Koniecko and Justin Kronauge to claim the doubles title.

Dev Varman, currently ranked 797 on the ATP list, is expected to soar up the rankings thanks to his performance at Rochester and also possibly at the Futures Tournament in Pittsburgh, where he's playing this week.

Dev Varman won the NCAA championship in May for the second year running -- the first Indian to triumph at the premier American collegiate event and emulate the likes of John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe. See INTERVIEW (Oct 2007)

In a poll conducted by the Indian Tennis Blog in December, 48 per cent picked Dev Varman as the "Indian player to watch out for in 2008".

In Ireland, Harsh Mankad was a match away from returning to the winner's circle once again, but a 3-6,4-6 loss to second seed Conor Niland of Ireland put paid to his hopes.

The 28-year-old, making a slow comeback to the Tour after injuries, had earlier upset the top and third seeds at the $15,000 Futures at Limerick.

Another name missing out on tennis action this month was Karan Rastogi. Back problems are becoming Rastogi's bane and the 21-year-old is finding it a challenge just to keep fit.

"I'm in Australia getting it treated so might be out for a little longer," the 609-ranked Rastogi told the Indian Tennis Blog.

Back at Wimbledon, a quick exit in both men's and mixed doubles events finds Mahesh Bhupathi preparing for tournaments in the United States.

Leander Paes and Sania Mirza still survive (as of now) in their respective doubles events but the 2008 grasscourt Grand Slam hasn't been too kind to Indians.

(Photo of Somdev Dev Varman: from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
(Photo of Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi: from


  1. Hey Toeknee. I saw Paes and Dlouhy have made it to the semis. I wrote something on my blog a few months ago suggesting that he should dump Paul Hanley at the time because that guy just wasn't a clutch performer. Glad to see he took my advice! : )

  2. Van: Thank God he did. Must confess didn't expect Paes and Dlouhy to do so well so early

  3. The proper spelling of Somdev Devvarman is what you just read. Perhaps the misunderstanding stems from the misspelling of his name on his Virginia team shirt. But I know for certain that his name should be what I spelled above.

    He won another championship in Pittsburgh today, too.


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With Somdev Devvarman (January 13, 2009 and October 4, 2007)

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