Somdev Devvarman - the Indian hope [Archive] -

Somdev Devvarman - the Indian hope

The Freak
07-30-2007, 09:04 PM
Everybody needs to know about this guy. He just qualified for the Legg Mason tourney, beating Andre Sa 6-2, 6-1 in under an hour. He won the college singles title this year, beating John Isner, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. Somdev is a baseliner, really fast, and a lot of fight. I became a fan just watching him once. :worship:

07-30-2007, 09:15 PM
From the name it seems that he is of Indian origin. Does he play for India or a different country? Any other information (videos of him playing) about him?

07-30-2007, 09:16 PM
He plays for India. He should finally get a wild card for Chennai since its his hometown, hopefully one in Mumbai as well. Hopefully he gets a winnable first round. Collegiately, he plays for UVA and will probably be returning there for his senior year.

Horatio Caine
07-30-2007, 09:17 PM
Everybody needs to know about this guy. He just qualified for the Legg Mason tourney, beating Andre Sa 6-2, 6-1 in under an hour. He won the college singles title this year, beating John Isner, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. Somdev is a baseliner, really fast, and a lot of fight. I became a fan just watching him once. :worship:

Is he powerful? How about his serve? Defending baseliner or attacking baseliner? Thanks for any info. :yeah:

07-30-2007, 09:18 PM
I was told he plays similar tennis to Donald Young. is that correct?

The Freak
07-30-2007, 09:20 PM
Is he powerful? How about his serve? Defending baseliner or attacking baseliner? Thanks for any info. :yeah:

His serve is good for his size, he isn't a huge guy. More defensive than offensive. He can rip the forehand, but these days, who doesn't?

The Freak
07-30-2007, 09:21 PM
I was told he plays similar tennis to Donald Young. is that correct?


07-30-2007, 09:25 PM
Everybody needs to know about this guy. He just qualified for the Legg Mason tourney, beating Andre Sa 6-2, 6-1 in under an hour. He won the college singles title this year, beating John Isner, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. Somdev is a baseliner, really fast, and a lot of fight. I became a fan just watching him once. :worship:

It's funny that Isner got a WC directly into the tournament, while SDV had to go through qualifying. I saw SDV play Isner on TTC a few weeks ago. He got hooked on calls a number of times in that match, but he handled it pretty well. He's got decent groundstrokes and he moves around the court really well. Should be interesting to see how his game holds up against the pros.

07-30-2007, 10:49 PM
What a great name!

07-31-2007, 12:30 AM
i'm really happy for him! he's come a long way. Wish the USTA would make an exception for him and grant him a wildcard for the NCAA title.

07-31-2007, 01:32 AM
thanks, will keep an eye on him!

bad gambler
07-31-2007, 01:44 AM

07-31-2007, 03:04 AM
His serve is good for his size, he isn't a huge guy. More defensive than offensive. He can rip the forehand, but these days, who doesn't?

Andy Roddick :D :o :sad:

08-01-2007, 04:41 AM
I was at his match against Sa, he completely outclassed the guy. And I don't think he's a defensive player, not at all. He definitely has talent.

I also talked to him a little while after his match, and he seems like a really nice guy.

08-01-2007, 04:45 AM
this guy has speed, footwork, a decent serve.
should come in more often,
keep an eye on him.

08-01-2007, 06:37 AM
Look for him to beat Roger next

08-01-2007, 05:46 PM
He is one of our biggest hopes from India. He was a bit of a late starter in juniors & could reach only a career high junior ranking of 40. But after that he went to university of Virginia & improved by leaps & bounds, He finished runnner up at NCAA championships in 2006 . But had a fabulous season this year which culiminated in being NCAA champion. During the course of the championships, he beat the likes of John Isner ( twice) & Kevin Anderson , both whom have done exceedingly well im pros this summer in US challanger circuit.

Somdev himself has not played any pro events so far this summer ( except this week ) . But he had an amazing run at Kennedy invitaional at New york a couple of weeks back beating the likes of Ricardo Mello, Robert Kendric & Jusine Gimlestob losing to Michel Russel in 3 close sets on clay courts.

His decision to spend one more year in college & earn a degree has been a bit perplexing. But he remains determined to finish his course & then turn full time pro only next May & give it everything.

However, it is this determination & dedication to whatver he does is likey to make him a real success when he joins the pro tour. If he continues his progress as he done over the couple of years, he looks to be the player India has been looking since more then a decade ago to become as a top 100 player ( since Leander Peas).

Watch out for him.

08-01-2007, 06:06 PM
I always admire college players who want to get a degree. I hope they do well.

08-02-2007, 06:36 AM
His decision to spend one more year in college & earn a degree has been a bit perplexing.

I always admire college players who want to get a degree. I hope they do well.

I agree, Coo. To me it only seems logical that he would get his degree when he only has one year left.

05-26-2008, 03:44 AM
Well he's back to defend his NCAA title. The Final is being played today.
Hopefuly it should be a smooth transition into the pro tour.

The Freak
05-26-2008, 04:53 AM
I'm going to the final, it's 15 minutes from my house. :D

05-26-2008, 05:34 AM
I'm going to the final, it's 15 minutes from my house. :D

Lucky You!!!

Last time I saw the final against isner over a Live webstream (Not on tennis Channel).
Any Links for such a thing? Is this being shown on tennis Channel?

05-26-2008, 03:25 PM
today's final will be live streamed

last year's match against Isner was just incredible stuff

Somdev should be in the pro tournaments during the U.S. hard court swing

I believe his last name is also one word, not two

06-27-2008, 03:29 AM
In case anyone is wondering, it looks like Somdev has finally begun his professional career and is off to a hell of a start, having won his first two matches 6-0 6-0 each :eek:. Granted he played a pair of mugs, but it's still impressive. Next up is Artem Sitak (ranked 321), which should be a good test.

(Btw mods, perhaps it might be a good idea to move this thread to the player area? Somdev doesn't have his own thread and this would be a good starter.)

06-27-2008, 04:37 AM
That Devvarman beat Justin Kronauge 0 and 0 is pretty surprising. Only explanation is that Kronauge can't play on clay. While Devvarman is clearly a better player, Kronauge was one of the top players in college last year and lost to Amer Delic 4 and 2 in Cincy qualies. Score should be closer than a double bagel :o

06-30-2008, 04:12 AM
Somdev beat Domijan in the final 6-2 6-2. He only lost a total of 16 games the entire tournament. :eek:

07-12-2008, 07:22 PM
What's up with him? I'm kind of surprised he isn't playing Indianapolis.

Net Cord
07-12-2008, 09:15 PM
What's up with him? I'm kind of surprised he isn't playing Indianapolis.

He's playing an exhibition in New York and just beat Querrey to reach the finals:

Then, he's taking a week off before playing a challenger in Kentucy:

Net Cord
07-13-2008, 03:38 AM
Well, it looks like he took the final, taking out Sela 6-4, 6-2. Another impressive week for Somdev.

Somdev and Dudi Sela appeared around 5pm. They started warming up. Quite a number of Israelis have shown up to support Dudi. The guy has a phenomenal backhand. He mixes up big hits from the baseline with drop shots. Somdev started the game by breaking Dudi's serve. In the beginning Som played this long rallies. I felt Dudi's shots are better, but Somdev is persistent in returning. His double handed backhand shots may not have been as fabulous to watch Dudi's backhand shots, but they were adequate to keep rallies going. Dudi often won points by coming in. Later in the game Som also paid him back with the same strategy.

Som won the first set 6-2. In the second set, he was down, but came back to win it 6-4.
After he won, he was gracious when he had the microphone. He said to Dudi that he was not there yet, with a full pro-schedule, but hopes to run into him on the tour more often and have good matches. There was much kidding about his keeping the check this time during the award "ceremony".

I go with PKB and his optimism. Somdev looks like top 100 material (even, top 50 material) to me.

07-21-2008, 10:44 PM
It's about time Somdev gets his own thread. This guy's record this year is unbelievable and he's arguably one of the best NCAA players of all time. He is the future of Indian tennis and we can use this thread to track his progress up the ranks.

2009 Results:

d. Kim 6-3 6-3
d. Moya 4-6 7-5 6-4
d. Karlovic 7-6(4) 6-4
d. Schuettler (w/o)
l. Cilic 4-6 3-6

YTD: 3-1
2009 Highlights:
Singles ATP
F: Chennai

07-21-2008, 10:47 PM
NCAA Results:
2007-2008 activity (
44-1 in Singles and 2 national championships.

W: Kennedy Funding International
d. Jhonson Garcia 6-4 6-3
d. Robert Kendrick 7-6 7-5
d. Sam Querrey 6-2 4-6 7-5
d. Dudi Sela 6-4 6-2

ATP Tour results:

d. Paul 7-5 6-0
d. Hamui 6-1 6-0
d. Monroe 6-1 6-0

Main Draw:
d. Angelinos 2-6 6-2 6-3
d. Lapentti 6-3 6-1
d. T. Paul 7-6(5) 6-1
d. Oullette 6-1 1-0
d. Vemic 4-6 6-4 6-4

d. Pinter 6-0 6-0
d. Kronauge 6-0 6-0
d. Sitak 6-2 6-2
d. Koniecko 7-5 6-3
d. Domijan 6-2 6-2

d. Domijan 6-2 6-4
d. Kalmanovich 6-1 6-3
d. Fugate 6-4 6-3
d. Flores 6-4 6-0
d. Helgeson 6-3 6-1

Lexington Challenger
d. Suzuki 6-2 2-6 7-6(7)
d. Fugate 6-0 6-0
d. Statham 6-2 6-2

Main Draw:
d. Jamie Baker 7-5 6-2
d. Bobby Reynolds 6-7(4) 7-5 6-4
d. Andrea Stoppini 7-6(6) 6-1
d. Xavier Malisse 4-1 Ret.
d. Robert Kendrick 6-3 6-3

d. Cecil Mamiit 6-4 2-6 7-6(4)
d. Yen-Hsun Lu W/O
l. Soeda 4-6 6-7(6)

ATP Washington
d. Sam Warburg 4-6 6-0 6-3
d. Jamie Baker 6-1 7-5
d. Go Soeda 7-5 7-5

Main Draw:
d. Taylor Dent 7-6(3) 2-6 6-1 (First ATP win)
d. Robert Kendrick 6-2 6-7(4) 7-5
l. Igor Kunitsyn 4-6 1-6

Brasov Challenger
l. David Marrero 4-6 6-1 4-6

ATP Bucharest
d. Bogdan Andrii 6-0 6-1
d. Florian Mergea 6-1 6-2
d. Filipo Volandri 6-3 4-6 6-3

Main Draw:
l. Nicolas Almagro 7-6(6) 2-6 5-7

Davis Cup vs. Romania
l. Victor Hanescu 3-6 1-6 0-6
l. Victor Crivoi 6-4 5-7 3-6

Bucharest Challenger
d. Dominik Meffert 6-4 6-2

YTD 35-6 (3 futures titles, 1 challenger title)
Bold indicates top 100 victory
Blue indicates ATP main draw match
Bold italicized indicates top 50 victory
Underlined indicates title

2008 Highlights:
Singles ATP
QF: Washington
Singles Challenger
W: Lexington
QF: Vancouver
Singles Future
W: U.S.A. F1, U.S.A. F15, U.S.A. F16
Doubles Future
W: U.S.A. F1(w/Huey), U.S.A. F15(w/Huey), U.S.A. F16(w/Huey)

07-22-2008, 12:48 AM
Yes his own thread :yeah:

07-25-2008, 08:39 PM
Somdev beat Bobby Reynolds who was in top form coming into this event to record his first official top 100 victory and then followed it up with a win over Andrea Stoppini who made a challenger final last week.

Somdev has now reached his first challenger semifinal and is 24-0 on the year. He'll have Malisse or Estrella in the semis.

07-25-2008, 08:41 PM
Well if he can beat Malisse he is well on his way. :yeah:

bad gambler
07-25-2008, 09:53 PM
Somdev is now in the SF of the Lexington Ch event after beating Stoppini in straight sets.

Next up is the X-man which will be a good indicator as to where SDV is really at in his career. Good luck to him!

07-26-2008, 05:28 AM
Hey thx Grinder, another talent rising from Asia.

he seems to be doing quite well so far, he has cut half his rank since January! Hope he can break into top 200 by the end of this year.

another Indian player Amritraj also did well not long ago, currently the no.1 Indian player in singles.

07-26-2008, 11:22 PM
Hey thx Grinder, another talent rising from Asia.

he seems to be doing quite well so far, he has cut half his rank since January! Hope he can break into top 200 by the end of this year.

another Indian player Amritraj also did well not long ago, currently the no.1 Indian player in singles.

Welcome Chewy! :wavey:

Making the finals at Newport was a great result for Prakash, but unfortunately I think it was a one time thing.

Somdev is in the final of Lexington Challenger after Malisse retired 1-4 down, I'm sure it's not the way he would have liked to win it, but a win is a win. He'll now play either Sela or Kendrick in the final; he beat both of them in straight sets in Rochester a few weeks ago.

07-27-2008, 04:49 AM
too bad Malisse had to retire...

but this makes a good opportunity for Dev!

good luck in the final!

07-27-2008, 04:56 AM
Welcome Chewy! :wavey:

Making the finals at Newport was a great result for Prakash, but unfortunately I think it was a one time thing.

Still, achieving the best they can is what i want to see. And some times all they need is some kind of confident boost, possibly by reaching the bigger stages.
So maybe he can go even further next time. ;)

07-27-2008, 06:03 AM
Hi :wavey:

His record looks impressive so far. :D

Any picture of him, by the way?

07-27-2008, 06:35 PM

Somdev wins his first challenger title with a 6-3 6-3 win over Kendrick! :woohoo:

07-27-2008, 08:45 PM
:banana: What's next for him?

07-29-2008, 04:24 AM
SE 1st Rd VS LL Cecil MAMMIT in Vancouver $100K

my us college player mates are ranting about this guy...

07-29-2008, 02:34 PM
26 wins in a row serving a lot of baggels is very impressive.
I don't understant why he waited that long to get on the pro circuit, he is older than Nadal after all.

07-30-2008, 09:04 PM
So I guess no problem beating top 150+ players. Jiggy jiggy. He's playing really well, I don't know why people are so resistant to cough up some love. But I have to say, even if you watch even his college video, it does seem that he's missing a big weapon to go to, by top 100 standards. Not to say that he won't get there quickly though!

07-30-2008, 10:54 PM
He barely beat Mammit today

07-31-2008, 11:26 PM
The ATP site results section had Mamiit beating Somdev, but then I check it today and he apparently beat Mamiit by the reported scoreline and got a walkover in his match today against the number one seed, Yen-Hsun Lu so Somdev remains undefeated in tournament play. Somdev will play against Kyu-Tae Im or Go Soeda for a spot in the semis. :D

08-01-2008, 11:44 PM
He barely beat Mammit today

Details, details.

08-11-2008, 11:00 PM
Somdev just won his first round match against a comeback Taylor Dent! Good going!

08-11-2008, 11:27 PM
Somdev picked up his first ATP win today at the Legg Mason against Taylor Dent 7-6(3) 2-6 6-1. This should be the first of many to come. :D

08-12-2008, 01:11 PM
Dent's back? good for him. And even better for Somdev to win it.
I guess he'll try out for USOPEN? would be interesting to see him play at a slam.

08-23-2008, 04:09 PM
He got off to a good professional start, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's see how he does in the next year, it will be a real test whether he could make it on the tour week in and out.

08-31-2008, 11:53 PM
Any new info? Need to check out the challenger thread of course;)

Ad Wim
09-03-2008, 09:43 PM
Nice run by this newcomer!

But I saw him trying a clay challenger in Romania this week where he lost first round. Does anyone here know what's he is doing in the next weeks? I don't see him anywhere in the entry lists of challengers in the next weeks. Is he playing quali's in Bucharest maybe?

09-13-2008, 03:36 PM
Somdev qualified for Bucharest on clay and had an impressive win over Filipo Volandri in the qualifying round. He put up a very tough fight against Almagro losing 7-5 in the third set. Somdev had several break points to serve out the match but couldn't convert. Still, these kind of results on clay are promising. Next up Davis Cup on clay in Romania where Somdev will be playing most likely against Victor Hanescu and Adam Cruciat. :yeah:

09-17-2008, 11:11 PM
Last week, Somdev qualified for the BCR Open in Bucharest by beating #93 Filippo Volandri in the 3rd qualifying round. He lost 7-6, 2-6, 5-7 to #18 Nicolas Almagro in the first round.

This week, he is playing for India in the Davis Cup World Group Playoff tie vs Romania at Bucharest. He will play #2 singles for India and will most likely face #67 Victor Hanescu on Friday, Sept. 19th and either #158 Victor Crivoi or #170 Adrian Cruciat on Sunday, Sept. 21st. Somdev is currently ranked #242.

After Davis Cup, he is playing in the Bucharest Challenger the week of Sept. 22nd.

He is also in the entry list for the Sacramento (USA) challenger the week of Oct. 6th.

bad gambler
01-06-2009, 08:26 AM
Somdev plays Kevin Kim first up in the Chennai Open. Hoping for a good transition to the pros this season, very winnable match.

Good luck to him

01-08-2009, 10:53 AM
He is doing ok :yeah:

bad gambler
01-09-2009, 02:32 AM
Pretty good week for SDV this week. Up against Karlovic now, again he has a pretty decent chance IMO

01-09-2009, 04:26 PM
Somdev has made his first ATP semifinal with a 7-6 6-4 win over Ivo Karlovic, he will play Rainer Schuettler for a spot in his first ATP final! :yeah:

01-09-2009, 05:29 PM

01-09-2009, 08:01 PM
Hmmm MTF is playing tricks today. I had a post here hours ago;)
Good luck to Somdev!

01-09-2009, 11:45 PM
Well done Somdev, i was asleep while i was waited his match against Dr Ivo, i've never seen him play before, don't know what kind of play he plays. ;)

bad gambler
01-10-2009, 10:01 AM
Semi Final against Schuettler today. This is probably going to be his toughest match this week as he won't have much pace to work with, whatever happens it has been a great week for him.

01-10-2009, 11:22 PM
Congrats on the first SF and Final at a ATP tournie!! Asian tennis is booming!!

i was back home in time for the match against Rainer, but he got a walkover.
Hope i can see him play tonights final.

01-11-2009, 03:03 AM
Marin Cilic is tough to beat but Somdev has come a long way to be in the final. Hope he can seal his first ATP final with a win. C'mon Somdev! :bigclap::bigclap:

01-11-2009, 03:05 AM
I've put down Somdev's match in the final against Cilic as a loss, so let's see if that's a jinx. :devil:

This is still a great result for Somdev regardless of the scoreline tomorrow!

01-11-2009, 07:00 AM
he's done extremely well already, so whatever happens it can only be beneficial for Somdev. He need these experience.

bad gambler
01-11-2009, 07:01 AM
Somdev's ranking should jump to #153 next week as it stands now and as a result should be seeded for the AO quallies :D

01-11-2009, 03:25 PM
Somdev's ranking should jump to #153 next week as it stands now and as a result should be seeded for the AO quallies :D

:D...Which then means that the next logical argument to start is will he break into the top 100 in the first half of the year? Lets remember, that's when its loaded with his favourite court surfaces. I dont think his pushing style of tennis will help him come the fast hardcourt/ indoor season. He still isn't aggressive enough, and though fast, his body seems apt to break down soon -- lack of Nadalesque training entourage, I suppose.

Also, how many feel he will qualify for AO now?:devil:

01-11-2009, 03:36 PM
Let's just say I hope he qualifies for the AO.;)

01-16-2009, 08:13 AM
too bad Somdev lost in qualies...he'll have to wait a few more months for the 2nd major.

in the meantime maybe he can get higher in the ranking so that by then he won't need to qualify.
i think he can achieve that.

10K Futures Qualifier
02-08-2009, 07:43 PM
His birthday is this Friday!

02-10-2009, 08:25 AM
Somdev will come to Taiwan for DC on Mar 6th - 8th

02-21-2009, 08:58 PM
Beat Young in Delray Q's :yeah:

03-08-2009, 10:10 AM
Kudos to Somedev and the Indian team, sealing the tie with a big win over the much higher ranked Lu comfortably. (

03-19-2009, 03:26 PM
Here are some pix from DC

04-27-2009, 03:37 AM
Aegean Tennis Cup - Rhodos, Greece



GO somdev :yippee:

04-27-2009, 03:47 AM

05-04-2009, 06:26 AM
My pictures of Somdev from München. :) ( ( (


05-04-2009, 09:30 AM
Thanks for the pix, rrfnpump!

02-01-2010, 12:38 AM
good luck vs. Malisse:)

Filo V.
02-01-2010, 12:40 AM
I really like Somdev a lot and hope he can get in the top 100, but he is going to have to be more offensive to get much higher than he has already. He doesn't have much at all to defend in the next months, so hopefully he can do well and get into the main draw at the French!

02-03-2010, 06:28 AM
good win:yeah:

02-04-2010, 09:22 AM
Just for the record Somdev(Buji) beats Xavier Malisse(6) 6-4 6-2.

02-04-2010, 09:23 AM
Now buji is up against Thiago Alves.
Cmon Buji make ur QF

02-05-2010, 04:25 PM
Somdev beat Alves & makes the QF

02-05-2010, 04:27 PM
Today Somdev lost to David Ferrer 1-6 3-6

03-27-2010, 03:13 AM
Here's couple of practice pics I took while in Indian Wells. They're from March 10th.

05-25-2010, 09:21 PM

05-31-2010, 05:24 PM
Somdev is sponsored by Lacoste now.

Filo V.
05-31-2010, 10:16 PM
Lacoste, sweet!

Good luck in Prostejov, Somdev!

Filo V.
10-02-2010, 02:31 AM
Somdev is in the top 100 everybody! He's had some up and down results but got a challenger win last week in Turkey to boost his ranking up into the top 100. And he doesn't have much to defend through the rest of the year. This is a good opportunity for him to make the AO main draw.

He's now with India playing the Commonwealth games, so good luck to him and India!

10-05-2010, 03:38 PM
congrats to Devvarman, a very good break thru for himself, his team and Indian tennis in 2010

10-19-2010, 01:12 AM
Somdev won the gold medal at cwg beating aussie Greg Jones.

He is #95 now.

11-24-2010, 04:06 PM
He crushed Istomin in the Asian Games final 6-1 6-2! :yeah:

11-27-2010, 10:59 AM
Yeah that result was awesome for Somdev.
Istomin was the favourite, ranked much higher and more ATP tour level experience.
He beat a good player and win the final AND earn GOLD medal for India! :D

I can't believe there was no live stream, wanted to see how both players perform and it's kind of a rare match up. >.<

03-04-2011, 08:24 PM
Dev's important win over Tipsy in 3 straight sets to give India hope in Davis cup!

The Indian team are real fighters when they play the Davis cup tied, Bopanna lost but came back from 2 sets to love to make it a 5 setter.

03-11-2011, 02:36 PM
He is making progress. Starting to beat players he is supposed to beat more regularly and easier.

03-14-2011, 09:12 AM
Somdev had the best win of his career thus far against world. 22 Marcos Baghdatis when he beat him 7-5 , 6-0 in the second round at Indian Wells. This was after he thrashed 59th ranked Adrina Mannarino 6-2 , 6-3 in the first round.

Somdev is really high on confidence now & finally fulfilling the promise shown as 2 times NCAA champion.

03-14-2011, 11:26 AM
I know, this is great to see. 2011 have started pretty well, he was in a final of an ATP 250 event not too long ago in RSA.

08-26-2011, 09:32 PM
Somdev's Route To Success

DEUCE Magazine
by Alison Kim


Somdev Devvarman used four years of collegiate tennis as a springboard for success on the ATP World Tour.

Somdev Devvarman grew up by passing through the U.S. collegiate system. Now a regular on the ATP World Tour, the Indian is realising his potential.

Chennai has a population of 7.4 million people according to the CIA World Factbook.

That fact was not lost on University of Virginia tennis coach Brian Boland as his cab zigzagged through the colourful and congested streets of India’s fourth largest city following a 48-hour, 8,500-mile journey beset by flight delays.

Boland’s promising new recruit, Somdev Devvarman, lived in Chennai, but exactly where he wasn’t quite sure. He rang up the young prospect upon checking into the Park Hotel and informed him where he was staying.

“You’re kidding, right?” responded Devvarman. “Walk across the street and I will be waiting.”

Though Devvarman figured the coach would be staying at one of the big hotels in the city, he laughs as he remembers, “This was literally 20 feet across [from our house]. I thought it was little freaky in the beginning. Just coincidence, I guess.”

Boland, meanwhile, chalked it up to fate. “I was in complete shock. With a large city of millions of people I guess some things are meant to be. We connected right away and that meeting started the greatest journey a coach and player could ever take.”

Collegiate tennis hadn’t been on Devvarman’s radar growing up. “My goal in life was always to be a professional and play for India,” says Devvarman, who picked up a racquet at the age of nine.

Devvarman professes that he was “just okay, not one of the best” when he was 14-15, but by age 18, he had developed into a Top 50 junior. It was at that time that he ran into a couple of good friends who had played collegiate tennis and broadened his perspective. “I realised, if you want to play professional tennis, you’re going to play till you’re 31, 32. If you’re really doing that well in college, you’ll always have the option to go pro, so I decided to give it a shot in my late teens, early 20s, and see how I liked it,” he says.

While playing a tournament in Florida, Devvarman made a side trip to Charlottesville and was immediately taken in by the historic town. “One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to,” he attests.

If that wasn’t enough, Boland’s visit to Chennai two weeks later sealed the deal.

Over a dinner of south Indian cuisine in the Devvarman household, the coach quickly put Somdev’s mother, Ranjana, at ease with his honesty. “I can remember struggling to eat some of the food so she asked if I liked it and I said, ‘Actually I do not,’ and everyone laughed,” he recounts.

Ranjana, in particular, had been anxious about sending her youngest of three children halfway around the world, but Boland calmed her fears as he explained how the University of Virginia would be a good fit for Somdev.

“When she met him, she kind of could picture who was going to take care of me for four years,” says Devvarman. “I think she was very comfortable and that kind of got me a lot happier too because I knew kind of what I was getting into and he’s a man of his word.”

Devvarman entered the University of Virginia as part of a 2004-05 freshman class that included highly-touted recruits such as top-ranked USTA junior Treat Huey, and even today, states, “what’s weird is I don’t know why [coach Boland] really wanted me at the time”.

He weighed a mere 135 lbs, and according to Boland, “hit the ball short, had a weak serve and was not comfortable at the net”. But superseding those weaknesses was what Boland described as tremendous potential. “He was as fast as any junior in the world and made some great decisions on the court for his age… His love of the game and attitude about the game was second to none for a young man.”

From his first day on campus, Devvarman put his head and heart into getting the most of his college experience. The inquisitive student embraced the advice of his tennis coaches, strength coach and nutritionists, improving all aspects of his game through increased fitness and strength.

“He improved his serve, his anticipation, his net game, and his forehand started to become more of a weapon over time and he really worked hard on his depth,” says Boland. “He was patient and understood that although he needed to become more of an offensive player over time he had to do these things on his watch.”

Devvarman was subsequently named ACC Freshman of the Year after his first season, reached the NCAA singles final the next, before coming to a crossroad. When he started at the University of Virginia, he envisioned that he would play for two years and turn pro, but the camaraderie he had built with his teammates made him rethink his original plan.

“We were a big family and I was having the time of my life,” says Devvarman. “My parents were really happy for me. They said I was really going along my life well. At that point, they wanted me to finish my degree as well, and so it became a no-brainer after two years to stay on and finish two more years, get a degree, hang out with my friends, and then try and do as well as I could for the team.”

Scott McCain, Devvarman’s coach for the past three years and a former coach at the University of California at Berkeley, says, “It was absolutely the right decision for Somdev. College was a wonderful time for him and he became a confident tennis player.”

Over the next two years, as he completed his course work in sociology and attended parties at the house of the Dave Matthews Band’s Boyd Tinsley, Devvarman tore up the NCAA circuit.

He capped his junior season in dramatic style – “One of the greatest college tennis matches I have ever seen,” says Boland – stunning the Georgia crowd into silence as he hit an ace past John Isner on championship point to claim the NCAA singles title. Isner, who was playing his final collegiate match in front of his home crowd, had not dropped serve during the match.

After losing just five matches during 2006-07, Devvarman still found room for improvement. He went an unprecedented 44-1 in his senior year and became just the fourth player in 50 years to win consecutive NCAA titles. The University of Virginia named him Male Athlete of the Year, ahead of Chris Long, who went on to be the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft.

“Deciding to bring Somdev to UVA was one of the best decisions I ever made,” says Boland. “The impact he made at UVA goes well beyond just being a student athlete. He impacted the entire community in a way I have never witnessed in my life as a coach.”

Devvarman, in turn, turned pro with an extra bounce in his step – with that certain big man on campus confidence he would’ve lacked had he turned pro two or four years earlier.

Just weeks after graduation, he won the first three tournaments he contested – a pair of Futures and a Challenger. He then qualified for the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington and reached the quarter-finals. In less than two months, his ranking soared more than 500 spots into the Top 250.

“I got fortunate to not have to go through the initial really tough phases because I was confident after doing well at the end of my college career and kind of carried that into the pros, did well the first two months, and put the really, really tough work behind me,” he says. “After that, it was a lot easier.”

Devvarman returned to Chennai for the start of the 2009 season, the place where his journey began, and thrilled his hometown fans by reaching his first ATP World Tour final.

Three years removed from his university days, Devvarman has found a new fraternity of sorts in Austin, where he first went to train with Andy Roddick in December 2008.

Devvarman made the move to Texas’s capital city last year, seeking the opportunity to work consistently with his coach as well take advantage of the abundance of solid practice partners – a number of players ranked between 200-400 and student athletes from the University of Texas.

Now, Devvarman is enjoying the benefits of working with two other top pros: American teenager Ryan Harrison, who joined the McCain camp in May, and Roddick, who often partakes in their training sessions.

“We do a lot of two on one, movement, play for position type of drilling,” says McCain of his two protégés. “They work very hard and push each other. They both have benefitted from Andy Roddick's work ethic and training and comments.”

For a person like Devvarman, this arrangement has already made a difference. “Somdev does thrive in the team environment. He enjoys camaraderie,” attests McCain. “Players have their goals. The successful ones make good use of their training and implement what they work on into games. Both Ryan and Somdev have made a jump to a higher level this year. I think Somdev’s improvement has been a positive for Ryan and I think Ryan’s improvement will have a positive impact on Somdev.”

Harrison, who has reached two ATP World Tour semi-finals since joining the team, agrees. “We both push each other,” he asserts. “We love practicing together. We both work really hard and so it’s a good set-up because we both have a good mentality about it and we both understand the professionalism of the sport.”

The past year has been Somdev’s best to date at the professional level. He landed Sports Person of the Year honours from Sports Illustrated India after capturing the singles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and the singles and doubles gold at the Asian Games in the autumn of 2010.

A few months later, he reached his second tour-level final at the SA Tennis Open in Johannesburg, finishing runner-up to Kevin Anderson, and shone in matches against two of his idols, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. “Som enjoys playing the best and knows he needs to go up another level in order to compete evenly with them,” says McCain.

Consistency will be key as Devvarman looks to work his way up the ATP ladder. He reached a career-high No. 62 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, but recognises that he’s far from done. “I’ll continue working on my game, try to get better in every aspect, and hopefully by the end of the year I can break 50. If I get to that, then you don’t kind of stop, you go for the next one. It’s always just trying to get better.”

The man who believed in him from the start, who helped Devvarman begin his incredible journey, has every faith in the young man whom his four young children jealously guard as a big brother.

“He is without question one of the fastest and best defensive players in the world and he is now hitting a much bigger ball with more depth and precision,” says Boland. “Through a lot of hard work he has become one of the best players in the world. I could not be more proud of him and I believe the best is in front him. His attitude and self belief is amazing.”


Filo V.
03-31-2012, 08:57 PM
Somdev has a shoulder injury that has unfortunately taken him off the tour for the foreseeable future. He has yet to play this season and his last official tournament was late October in Charlottesville, where he retired in the second round.

After a great start to 2011 at 17-10 through Belgrade, where he advanced to the QF before losing a very tight match vs Tipsarevic, Somdev lost five straight opening round matches and made it to one QF the rest of the season, in Atlanta. His shoulder injury became progressively worse starting during the grass season and prevented Somdev to continue the impressive progress he was making.

Somdev is now resting and rehabbing his shoulder with the hopes he can avoid surgery, which would likely see him out an entire year from play. He will be able to attain a protected ranking when he returns which is allowed after six months of not playing. So that means he will have six months after he returns to get his ranking back inside the top 100, as he has fallen to provisional #184. Hopefully when he is able to come back it will be at 100% as shoulder injuries can be chronic and career-ending.

07-27-2012, 07:07 PM
Somdev will be back for the Olympics and start against Nieminen:)

08-24-2012, 04:11 PM
Huf... he will play Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo of Spain in his first round match at US Open. After coming back from injury, Somdev hasn't won a match yet.