Somdev crosses first hurdle, moves to 2nd round of qualifiers | sports | Hindustan Times
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Somdev crosses first hurdle, moves to 2nd round of qualifiers

sports Updated: May 20, 2009 11:56 IST

Keeping Indian challenge alive, Somdev Devvarman edged past Joao Souza in a gruelling encounter to advance to the second round of the qualifying event of the French Open, second Grand Slam of the year here.

Seeded 26, India's numero uno player recorded a 6-2 2-6 7-5 victory over his Brazilian opponent in a skill testing two hour and 27 minutes clay court battle, last night.

Somdev raced away with the first set in just 29 minutes but a determined Souza was not in mood to surrender and put up a brave fight against the Indian in the second set.

The Brazilian did not let Somdev convert any of the three breakpoints and broke the Indian twice out of four chances he got, to draw parity.

The decisive third set again saw Somdev squandering many a chances but ultimately he prevailed over Souza to book a second round berth.

He will next face Briton Alex Bogdanovic, who defeated American Ryler Deheart 4-6 7-5 6-3 in his opening round match.

Earlier, Prakash Amritraj crashed out of the qualifiers after losing his first round match 4-6 4-6 to Brazil's Marcos Daniel.

In a keenly contested first set, both the players fired six aces each but Daniel was more accurate with his first serve and converted the only breakpoint his rival offered to take advantage.

The Indian on the other hand wasted one such opportunity and conceded the lead.

It was imperative for Prakash to get an early break in the second set and stay alive but he failed to do that despite getting a chance in the fourth game.

Daniel was ruthless in his approach and converted second of the two breakpoints in the ninth game to go up 5-4 and served out the set in the next game.