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Somdev Wins Over Xavier Malisse To Reach Fourth Round

829   //    15 Mar 2011, 07:20 IST

Somdev Devvarman continued his stellar run in Indian Wells defeating Xavier Malisse 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) in the third round tie of BNP Paribas Open. Somdev sealed the greatly fought match in exactly 2 hours. The 26 year old Indian will now face world no 1 Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

Somdev had a great start to the game and blown the Belgian over in the first set within half an hour. He broke the serve of Malisse twice in the first set to seal it 6-1. He showed great skill and flawless performance in the first set to which Xavier Malisse had no response. Such was his accuracy with serve, of the 22 serves he fired just 1 was called fault and he won as many as 15 of them firing 3 aces.

But the Belgian, ranked 52 in the world, was not a player to give in so easily and he showed a tremendous comeback in the second set. Malisse broke Somdev’s first game to take a 3-0 lead. He, then maitained his lead for the next few games before winning the set 6-3.

The third and the final set was the peak of all with both the players serving at their best. Somdev won 73% of his serves while Malisse won 79%. However, Malisse had a chance to break Somdev’s serve when he was serving at 30-40, but Somdev managed to save the point and the set remained undecided. In the tiebreaker Malisse drew the first blood. Getting a point on Somdev’s serve he was 5-2 up and needed just 2 points to win the match. It was at that moment, Somdev showed great temperament to win the next 5 consecutive points to win the tiebreaker 7-5.

Somdev will now face the challenge of top seeded Rafael Nadal in the next match. Nadal defeated another qualifier Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-1 in the third round.

In another tie, fourth seeded Robin Soderling crashed out of the tournament with a 6-7 (8), 4-6 defeat to Phillip Kohlchreiber in the third round match. Fifth seeded Andy Murray and sixth seeded David Ferrer have already bowed out of the tournament.

In the women’s section, 3rd seeded Vera Zonareva lost her match against Dominika Cibulkova. Among others, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Kim Clijsters and Marion Bartoli reached the fourth round.

[errata: Somdev Devarman reached the fourth round of the tournament which is the pre quarter finals, not quarter finals as reported earlier]

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