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Rediff.com  » Sports » Andrej Martin ousts Somdev from Singapore Challenger

Andrej Martin ousts Somdev from Singapore Challenger

January 28, 2011 19:45 IST

Little-known 21-year-old Andrej Martin of Slovakia created the biggest upset in the Singapore ATP Challenger, upsetting Asian Games gold medalist and top seed Somdev Devevarman of India to enter the semi-finals on Friday.

On a cloudy day at the Kallang Tennis Centre, the 177-ranked Martin outpaced Somdev to register a 6-3, 6-4 win in 85 minutes.

The defeat put the Indian Davis Cupper out of the tournament. He earlier lost in the doubles semi-finals.

Somdev and his South African partner Rik de Voest were beaten by Thailand's Ratiwattana Twins Sonchai and Sonchat, seeded second,  6-4, 6-7(2) 10-7.

Somdev started well, breaking Martin in the third game, but lost serve in the fourth and eighth games as Martin took the first set.

In the second set, Martin played some intelligent tennis, mixing drops, and passed the Indian regularly at the net with sharp angled returns.

He broke in the fifth game and then held serve to clinch the set and make it to the semifinals.

Somdev won a low 38 percent on service returns in the entire match.

 "This is my first big win over a top 100 player and I'm thrilled; I was recovering from a long match yesterday and felt tired. I realised I could not rally to win and decided to attack. This move paid off," the Bratislava resident after victory.

"I'm looking for better results the way I'm playing,"he added.

Somdev praised Martin. "I don't want to take anything away from Andrej; he played very well and served very well. I didn't move well which is my strength. It's hard to play with rain around, but all this is a part of professional tennis and it's a learning process for me. But all credit to my opponent," he said.

Somdev got 17 ATP points for his efforts in singles and 33 from the doubles event. He will now play in the South African Open.

Martin will take on former world top 20 player Dmitry Tursonov of Russia, who stopped the winning run of 248-ranked Italian Flavio Cippola, scoring a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win in a match lasting two hours and 36 minutes.

Results (singles quarter-finals): Andrej Martin (Svk) bt Somdev Devvarman ( Ind) 6-3, 6-4; Dmitry Tursonov (Rus) bt Flavio Cipolla (Ita) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2;  Lukar Rosal (Cze) bt Michael Yani (US) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; Go Soeda (Jpn) bt Ito Tatsuma (Jpn) 6-3, 6-0.