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Somdev Devvarman and his illustrious career: A look back

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 28:  Somdev Devvarman of India returns a backhand against Jared Donaldson during the BB&T Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station on July 28, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Devvarman was one of Indian tennis’ biggest singles stars in an era of doubles
Modified 06 Jan 2017, 16:41 IST

31-year old Somdev Devvarman, who had been India's flag-bearer on the ATP World Tour in singles for six years, recently retired from professional tennis. In a sea of doubles players, Devvarman’s success at the top in singles was as a breath of fresh air for the country's tennis fans.

Read more: Somdev Devvarman announces retirement

Unfortunately,  Somdev had to finally give in to injuries, the game-changer being the one to his shoulder in 2012. That particular injury came at a very wrong time, when Somdev had just reached his career high ranking of 62, looking all set to break the top 50.

Career Highlights

Reached a career high ATP Ranking of 62, the best by an Indian in the last 25 years

Received the Arjuna Award in 2011 for his contribution to Indian Tennis

  • Won the Gold Medal in Men's Singles at the 2010 Commonwealth Games
  • Won Gold Medals in both Men's Singles & Men's Doubles at the 2010 Asian Games
  • Was nominated for the "ATP Comeback Player of the Year" award in 2013
  • The only Indian player to reach the final of the Chennai Open
  • Reached 2 ATP tour level finals(Chennai and Johannesburg)
  • Has had wins over top players like Milos Raonic, Carlos Moya, Marin Cilic, Ivo Karlovic, John Isner, Marcos Baghdatis and Janko Tipsarevic.

A Look Back at His Career

Somdev first made news in India by putting together a dream run to the final of the Chennai Open in 2009. The lad from Tripura beat former world number one Carlos Moya & the then world no. 25, Ivo Karlovic, on his way to the final, where he lost a close match to Marin Cilic. Somdev made the final of a similar ATP 250 level tournament in Johannesburg in 2011, losing to local favorite Kevin Anderson.


But much before actually making his mark on the ATP World Tour, Somdev had given a huge indication of his potential whilst representing the University of Virginia at the NCAA Championships in the USA.

Devvarman, a tennis sensation in college, won back to back NCAA titles in 2007 and 2008, one of only 3 players to have done so since 1950. This feat included a victory over top seed John Isner in 2009, with Isner later going on to become a top 10 ATP player. Somdev had also reached the NCAA final in 2006, thus making him the only player in NCAA history to make three consecutive finals.

Somdev has made it to the 2nd round of all the four Grand Slams, a feat that not many Indian players have been able to achieve. Somdev's best result at the Masters 1000 level is reaching the 4th round at Indian Wells in 2011, losing a tight match to 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. He's also made it to the 3rd round of the Miami Masters not just once, but twice, in 2011 and 2013.

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Published 06 Jan 2017, 15:29 IST
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