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Somdev clinches maiden challenger title

India's Somdev Devvarman wins his first ATP Challenger event in Lexington, Kentucky, giving him a much-needed jumpstart in his quest of making a mark in the professional circuit, reports Deepika Sharma.

sports Updated: Jul 28, 2008 23:19 IST
Deepika Sharma

India's Somdev Devvarman won his first ATP Challenger event in Lexington, Kentucky, giving him a much-needed jumpstart in his quest of making a mark in the professional circuit.

The two-time NCAA champion beat third seed Robert Kendrick 6-3, 6-3 in the final to clinch his first Challenger title and jump 211 places on the ranking charts from 556 to 345.

Speaking to Hindustan Times from Virginia, Devvarman said he was happy with winning start on the Tour. "The past week has been really good for me. I have had a positive start to the circuit," he said.

"I have been confident in my matches. From having match point in my qualifying match to winning the Lexington event, it has been the start I wanted," added Devvarman, who was born in the northeast town of Guwahati.

Asked about where he plays next and whether he kept any targets, Devvarman replied: "I have set no targets for myself. I just want to go with the flow and keep winning. I am playing in Vancouver next and I'm hoping to do well there too."

Devvarman toppled world No. 90 Bobby Reynolds in the second round.

The Indian, who now remains unbeaten on the Tour, went on to beat Kendrick in the final, stretching his winning streak to 15.

Devvarman now has three Futures titles and a Challenger title to his name. The 23-year-old is now only the third Indian since Harsh Mankad (Manchester, 2006) and Rohan Bopanna (Dublin, 2007) to win a Challenger event in the last 10 years.