CWG Tennis: Somdev overcomes slow start, through to second round

By Pragya Tiwari, IANS,

New Delhi : Top seed Somdev Devvaraman of India shrugged off an indifferent start to storm into the second round of the men’s singles of the Commonwealth Games tennis competition with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Devin Mullings of Bahamas here Tuesday.

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It took Somdev, ranked 97 on the Association of Tennis Professionals charts, only 85 minutes to close the match under a baking sun at the R.K.Khanna Tennis Complex, but it required greater effort than the straight-set score suggests.

The Bahamian Davis Cupper took off with his solid serve and the India No.1 struggled to find his rhythm and also to land his first serve in. He, however, was quick to bury the ghost and once held his serve in the fourth game of the match, there was no looking back.

The spring in Somdev’s step was back and his serve,too. He fired 10 aces as the heat started to work to his advantage and Mullings began to tire. The long rallies sapped the energies of the Bahamian by the time the second set began.

“I played a lose first game to go down a break, but after that I didn’t lose the serve in the match. I was a little nervous playing my first Commonwealth Games match but I did well to come back,” Somdev said.

Mulling cruised to a 3-0 lead in the first set before Somdev pulled off two breaks in the seventh and the ninth game. Mullings called for medical attention after the first set and when he returned, he was only a pale shadow of his self.

Somdev was in total control in the second set and, though he did face two break points in the sixth game, he comfortably through to the next round.