Somdev knocks out Cilic in Legg Mason Classic


Washington : India’s Somdev Devvarman stunned World No.15 and sixth seed Marin Cilic of Croatia in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the third round of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic here Wednesday.

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Somdev, who lost to Cilic in the final of the ATP Chennai Open in January, avenged the defeat in great style. It was his first victory against a top-20 player.

Somdev, 24, served brilliantly and battled to save five of the seven break points.

The Indian, ranked 153rd in the latest ATP rankings, said after the one hour 42 minutes match that it was his greatest career victory.

“All along I played well,” Somdev said.

“My game plan was to compete as hard as possible. I took my chances well. I’m proud of the result.”

Somdev, a two-time US college national champion at nearby University of Virginia, got good vocal support from the familiar local crowd.

Somdev, winner of back-to-back US colleges titles, said there was no feeling of avenging a defeat. Cilic is a great player, ranked 15 in the world, and he competed like he did with any other player.

“No hard feelings. He’s a great guy. We were just two competitors.”

Recalling his loss at the hometurf in Chennai, Somdev said: “I did a lot of things well in that match. But he did better.”

“It wasn’t the final of a tour event. I wasn’t nervous coming out. It was his first match of the week. I had three already under my belt.”

Somdev will next face 33rd-ranked Croatian super server Ivo Karlovic or Germany’s Rainer Schuettler in the $1.4 million hardcourt event. Somdev defeated Karlovic on his way to the Chennai Open final.

If Somdev beats Karlovic, he might run into top seed Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals.