Somdev Devvarman on Thursday celebrated his 29th birthday by beating Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain 4-6 6-1 6-3 in the men's singles quarterfinals of the USD 50,000 ATP Challenger Tour.
India's No. 1 tennis player will face a tough opponent in Russia's Evgeny Donskoy in the semifinals but he could take solace from the fact that he enjoys a 1-0 head-to-head record against him. Somdev had posted a hard fought 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2 win against the Russian in the ATP World Tour Masters in Miami last year.
In the men's doubles, wild cards from either half of the draw, Saketh Myneni-Sanam Singh and Divij Sharan-Vishnu Vardhan won their respective semifinal matches to make it an all-Indian final, which will be held tomorrow. In the top half of the draw, Kazakh Aleksandr Nedovyesov lived up to his billing to thrash David Guez of France 6-1 6-3 to set a semifinal date with Serbian Ilija Bozoljac, who defeated David Guez of France 6-1 6-3.
Second seed Somdev was broken in the opening game of the match but he somehow managed to balance it out by breaking back at 3-4 down to make it 4-4.
The Spaniard has been suffering from a hip injury for some time now and that caused problems while he was serving today. Somdev clearly took advantage of that.
"I have been suffering from this injury for some time but I haven't gone for a surgery because I am not having problems while returning. Although I am facing issues while serving. But somehow I am managing," he said.
The 100th ranked Indian was broken once again in the ninth game by the Spaniard to clinch the first set.
Somdev bounced back in style in the second set to brush aside the challenge of the 208th ranked Spaniard. In the decider, Somdev grabbed an early break at 1-1 and went 3-1 up as he held his serve in the very next game.
The set went on with hold of serves from thereafter, but in the ninth game with Somdev leading 5-3, Maceiras was broken as the Indian converted the second match point to wrap the issue.
"I've stopped celebrating birthdays after I was 21," Somdev said in a lighter vein after his quarters victory at the BTA Courts.
"It's nice I get a lot of messages, good wishes from a lot of friends all over the world. That's nice. I can't do anything crazy.
"Maybe I will have a piece of cake and enjoy my time. My sister is here. Have a nice dinner with them, sleep early so that I can be early for tomorrow."
Donskoy ended the dream run for qualifier T Chen from Chinese Taipei in a straight 6-4 6-4 victory.
In the opening set, Chen was broken in the third game, which ultimately helped Donskoy take the set 6-4. Donskoy, who knocked out Yuki yesterday, seemed totally in control as he broke Chen at 4-4 in the second set to storm into the semis.
DD Sports will telecast the matches tomorrow onwards.
Results: Men's Singles, QFs: Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) b David Guez (FRA) 6-1, 6-3; Ilija Bozoljac (SRB) b Agustin Velotti (ARG) 6-4, 6-4; Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) b Ti Chen (TPE) 6-4, 6-4; Somdev Devvarman b Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. Men's Doubles, SFs: Saketh Myneni/ Sanam Singh (IND) b Gerard Granollers/ Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 6-3, 6-7 (5), 10-7; Divij Sharan/Vishnu Vardhan (IND) b Nedovyesov/ Blaz Rola (SLO) 6-4, 6-4.