India number one Somdev Devvarman on Tuesday recorded the biggest win of his career by beating world number five Juan Martin Del Potro but the victory came when the Argentine retired mid-way into the first round match of the Dubai Duty Free Championships, in Dubai.
Somdev, ranked 78, had won the first set 7-6 (3) in an hour and seven minutes and immediately after this, Del Potro took a medical timeout due to pain in his left wrist.
The Argentine second seed found it tough to continue and conceded the match.
Somdev had lost 4-6 4-6 to Del Potro last year at this very event in the pre-quarterfinals.
This is Somdev’s first ever win against a top-5 player who is also a Grand Slam champion. Del Potro is the 2009 US Open winner.
Somdev has competed against the legends of the game, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic but has not won against any of them, although he fought well against all these multiple Grand Slam winners.
He lost to Nadal in 2011 at Indian Wells Masters in two close sets and in the same year he had lost to Federer at this Dubai event.
Before Tuesday’s match, his biggest wins were against Croatia’s Marin Cilic (world number 15) and Ivo Karlovic (world number 25) in 2009 and against Cyprus’ Marcos Baghdatis (world number 22) in 2010.
Somdev was well prepared coming into this tournament as he had won the Delhi Open Challenger tournament on Sunday. He had reached the semifinals of the Chennai and Kolkata events in the preceding weeks.
Bopanna-Qureshi enter quarters
Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi progressed to the doubles quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Championships after overcoming qualifiers Nikolay Davydenko and Victor Hanescu via Super Tie breaker, here.
The second seeded Indo-Pak pair defeated the Russian-Romanian combo 6-1 5-7 10-8 in one hour and 28 minutes in the opening round of the $2,359,935 hard court tournament.