India’s Somdev Devvarman booked a chance to avenge a stinging defeat by ousting fellow qualifier Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-0, 7-6 (8/6) in a first-round meeting on Monday at the ATP Washington Classic.
Devvarman advanced to a second-round match on Tuesday with Croatian sixth seed Marin Cilic, who defeated the hometown hero 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) in January’s Chennai final to spoil the 24-year-old US college star’s first ATP championship match.
“I’m looking forward to facing him again,” said Devvarman, who relished the memory of playing in his homeland. “That feels incredible,” he said. “To see your family all around, to play on those courts at a tournament you’ve been watching since you were 10, that makes it special.”
Top seed Andy Roddick was among 16 players, including Cilic, to have first-round byes in this 1.4 million-dollar hardcourt tournament, a tuneup for the US Open.