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Rediff.com  » Sports » Somdev in final of SA Open

Somdev in final of SA Open

February 06, 2011 09:21 IST

India's Somdev Devvarman and South Africa's Kevin Anderson will clash in the final of the SA Tennis Open after scoring contrasting semi-final victories on Saturday.

While fourth-seeded Anderson fought back after losing a first-set tie-breaker for a 6-7 (3-7), 6-0, 6-4 victory over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, Devvarman dashed hopes of the final being an all-South Africa affair earlier with a 6-2, 6-4 win over wild card Izak Van der Merwe.

Somdev DevvarmanThe 110th-ranked Devvarman, who lost in the first round of the Chennai Open to little-known David Goffin of Belgium, needed just 87 minutes to advance to his second career ATP singles final  -- he lost to Marin Cilic in the 2009 Chennai Open final -- and complete a hat-trick of sorts, having accounted for South African hopefuls Raven Klaasen and Rik De Voest earlier in the tournament.

The 25-year-old, who in 2009 played a leading hand in India dashing South Africa's hopes of returning to the Davis Cup World Group as the visitors won the play-off tie 4-1 at the Ellis Park Indoor Arenathe, produced a superb all-round showing, mainly from the baseline, not allowing Van der Merwe to get into a rhythm.

The 6ft 8in Anderson, who beat Devvarman in straight sets in the first round at last year's US Open in their only previous meeting, is the first South African to reach a South African Open final since Grant Stafford in 1993.  It will be his second final at this level. He is attempting to become the first South African to annex an ATP title since Wesley Moodie won the Japan Open in 2005.