Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman ended a dream run at the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Wednesday on a high, despite losing 7-5, 6-4 to world number one Rafa Nadal in the fourth round.
Devvarman has long admired the Spanish left-hander and he endeared himself to the evening crowd at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden with a plucky display against Nadal, especially in the opening set.
"After the first couple of games, I felt normal ... like I was just out there playing a match," the 26-year-old from Assam told reporters after becoming the first Indian to reach the fourth round of the elite ATP Masters 1000 event."I didn't think about who I was facing. I started out well, too, so I felt very comfortable on the court."
In other matches, Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic reached the quarter-finals without dropping a set while eighth-seeded Andy Roddick was ousted. Andy Roddick was also eliminated by Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who beat him in straight sets.