Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Asian Games: Somdev Devvarman wins seventh gold for India

Somdev Devvarman defeated Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-1, 6-2 to clinch India's seventh gold at the Asian Games on Tuesday.

India's tennis ace had also won the double's gold pairing with Sanam Singh on Monday.

Somdev Devvarman played tirelessly to provide India with a gold in the men's doubles with Sanam Singh by stepping on the tennis court barely an hour and a half after cruising into the singles final with hard-fought three-set win in the Asian Games on Monday.

On Monday, Somdev and Sanam secured India's third successive men's doubles crown with an energy-sapping 6-3 6-7 (4) 10-8 victory in the final against crowd favourites and second seeds Gong Maoxin and Li Zhe of China on the centre court at the Aoti Tennis Centre.

In the men's singles semifinal match, showing a lot of spunk and fighting spirit, India's No 1 player Somdev came back from the brink to subdue Japanese rival Tatsuma Ito to reach the final on Monday.

In the baseline slugfest, that lasted almost two hours, second seed Somdev pocketed the opening set in his semifinal clash with Ito, ranked 195 on the ATP circuit, with a measure of comfort 6-2 and then was blown off court by fourth seed Ito in the second to drop it 0-6.

Things were looking difficult for the Indian world no. 106 when he and his rival traded service breaks in the first four games before Somdev staged an excellent rally under severe pressure by saving two break points in the fifth game.

That was the turning point as the Tripura-born Somdev regained poise and then broke his rival for the third time, this time decisively, before taking the set 6-3 and reaching the final.