The red clay of Roland Garros is not one of Somdev Devvarman's favoured surfaces. It proved to be true as he crashed out in the first round of the French Open, losing in straight sets to Croat Ivan Ljubicic in a little over two hours on Tuesday.
To play the big-serving Ljubicic is never easy. To counter his explosive serves, one's own must be up to the mark. That's what let the 26-year-old Indian down. Going by statistics, Somdev could only manage to get 47 percent of his second serves as compared to the Croat's 70 percent.
The 2006 semifinalist also served six more aces than Somdev's four.
Somdev could only look on helplessly as Ljubicic beat him 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 at his own style of play.
The world No. 37's baseline game was far superior than Somdev's as he hit 40 winners compared to his opponent's 23.
"I was trying to find ways to break him but unfortunately he served really well," said Somdev after the match. "That's what good players do against you. This guy made the semis here a few years ago, is a former top-five player, and has the experience and game to hurt anybody out here."
Last year, Somdev had lost in the first round in Paris and has never gone beyond the second round in a Grand Slam.