Somdev Devvarman cleared 48 heads to reach a career-best singles ranking of 154 in latest Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) charts after a phenomenal week in Chennai Open where he became the first Indian to reach the final.
The new pin-up boy of Indian tennis, who with his infectious smile and energy won a million hearts as he went on a giant-killing spree this week, has now firmly established himself as the flag-bearer of Indian tennis, leaving Prakash Amritraj way behind at 209.
Amritraj crashed out in the first round against fifth seed German Rainer Schuettler and dropped three rungs.
Wild card Somdev beat American Kevin Kim (ranked 113) former World No 1 Carlos Moya (41), and Croat Ivo Karlovic (26) en route his maiden ATP Tour final where he lost to third seed Marin Cilic of Croatia Sunday, pocketing 150 ATP points
The title win fetched Cilic 250 ATP points and gave him a jump of seven places to No. 20 in the ranking.
Somdev, who has been making news since winning the prestigious US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship, has some impressive performances under his belt since turning professional in 2008.
His latest ranking has brought him near to cracking the top-100 rankings. Only three Indians -- Vijay Amritraj, Ramesh Krishnan and Leander Paes -- have featured in the top-100 in the Open era.
Paes's career best singles ranking was 73rd in 1998. Amritraj highest was No 16 while Krishnan reached World No 23.
Among other Indians, Rohan Bopanna, who qualified for the main draw of Chennai Open moved up 17 places to 316.
In doubles, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes remained static at No 6 and 10, respectively.
Sania Mirza, who returned from a long injury break in an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong, dropped seven places to 107.