Chennai: Somdev Dev Varman, who has suggested some sweeping changes in the organisation of country’s Davis Cup ties, was on Thursday routed in straight sets by world No. 6 Tomas Berdych in the second round of the Chennai Open, here.
An off-colour Somdev, a wild card entrant and 2009 finalist here, was handed a crushing 3-6 1-6 defeat by the top-seeded Czech rival in 65 minutes as he struggled to rein in his unforced errors.
The Indian struggled to keep his returns inside the court throughout although he retrieved the balls quite often which has been his amazing quality.
The crowd cheered him on but nothing worked for Somdev against an opponent, who was too good a player to put to some test.
Berdych was cautious initially but took complete control once got into the groove. He next plays Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in the quarter finals.
With this result, the quarter-final line-up is complete as third Marin Cilic, who won here twice, will take on fifth seed Benoit Paire of France in top half of draw.
From the bottom half, second seed Janko Tipsarvic of Serbia will take on Go Soeda of Japan and Swiss defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka will fight it out with unseeded Aljaz Bedene.
Cilic came from behind to beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 4-6 6-2 6-2 in 110 minutes.
Fifth seed Benoit Paire of France thrashed Israeli Dudi Sela 6-1, 6-0 in just 40 minutes, extracting a sweet revenge for his last year’s defeat to the same opponent.
Earlier in a side court match, Roberto Bautista Agut, ranked 80, got the better of Matthias Bachinger of Germany, ranked 123, 7-6 (4) 6-3 in 100 minutes.
After being broken in the very first game of the first set, Cilic, who had won the title here in 2009 and 2010, dished out flawless tennis in the next two games.
Cilic, world number 15 and seeded third here, was defeated by Kei Nishikori of Japan 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the quarterfinals satge in 2011. The Croat had not competed last year.
With his rival holding on to the service games, Stakhovsky maintained great accuracy and brought his forehand drives into play. The Ukrainian earned two game points with a brake in the seventh game.
In the eighth, Stakhovsky, despite committing two double faults, managed to win the game. In the second and third games, Cilic was at his best as he relied on the long baseline rallies for points.
In a doubles match, at the outside court, German pair of Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich survived some anxious moments before prevailing over the English duo of Jamie Delgao and Ken Skupski 7-6 (1) 6-1 in 64 minutes.
They will meet the winner of the match between Somdev Dev Varman/ Stakhovsky and Thailand’s Sonchat and Sanchai Ratiwatana.