India's Somdev Devvarman failed to repeat his NCAA Dvision 1 championship victory six years ago over John Isner and went down to the American in two hard-fought sets 5-7, 5-7 in the second round of the Citi Open tennis here.
Somdev, who created a record by retaining the NCAA title beating Isner 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (2) in 2007, was overpowered in their first meeting after that collegiate final here Thursday.
Isner, with his awesome serve, did not face a break point and clinched two crucial break points, though he had ten in all.
Devvarman served well to extend the fight, but his return of serve let him down as he hardly looked like breaking Isner.
"It doesn't seem like it's been that long," Washington Post quoted Isner as saying. "I remember that match like it was yesterday,"
Devvarman, who is back on tennis court after missing almost the entire last year with a shoulder injury, gave all he had but that was not enough to stop a vastly superior Isner.
"That's actually the last time we've played, which is kind of crazy." said Isner, who says he's played the No. 4 seed from that tournament South African Kevin Anderson nine times in ATP events. "I knew eventually our paths would cross."
Isner has come a long way from his college days and has been a consistent top 20s player with a best ATP ranking of nine whereas Devvarman did well to reach a career best of 62 two years ago before the injury fell him.
The Indian, who has won over a $1million in prize money compared to Isner's over $5 million, is currently ranked 129 and is fighting hard to break into the top 100 again.
Isner talked highly of his Indian opponent after the match.
"I knew it was going to be a tough match. Somdev's an extremely tough opponent, he's always been tough for me, especially," Isner said.
"I always tease him I was able to get the team ring, something he was never able to do, but he won the NCAA singles title, something I was never able to do. He's a great player and he's also a good friend."