The Telegraph
Thursday , February 13 , 2014
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Somdev races to last 8

Somdev Dev Varman in action, on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: Four seeds, including second seed Somdev Dev Varman made it to the quarter finals of the State Bank of India ATP Challenger tournament, being played at the BTA courts here, on Wednesday.

The day saw mixed fortunes for the top Indian stars, as Somdev cruised to the last-eight stage, but Yuki Bhambri lost his match to the third seed Russian Evgeny Donskoy.

For Somdev, the morning match was rather easy, as he tamed his opponent, Alexander Kudryavtsev, 6-3, 6-3.

A strong service helped his cause, as he got most of his first serves right. It took him less than an hour to ensure an Indian presence in the quarter finals.

Chosing to serve, Somdev wrapped up the first set in a business-like fashion, with only one break in the fourth game. The Russian managed to hold on to his serve for the rest of the set, but an all-important break eluded him.

The second set saw Somdev play with a lot more aggression and his forehand was a weapon that delivered winners at ease. Two breaks, in the third and ninth games got him the set and the match.

The Indian second seed will now take on Spain’s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras, who showed the seventh seed Radu Albot of Moldova the door.

But Indian hopes that were placed on Yuki Bhambri was dashed on Wednesday. Fresh from a double crown in the ATP Challenger in Chennai, Yuki could not really hold his own and lost to Donskoy in an hour and 21 minutes.

A lone break in the fourth game of the first set was enough for the third seed to wrap up the set at 6-3. Yuki, looking visibly frustrated at unforced errors that cost him dear, threw down his racket a few times. He was lucky that his indiscretion was overlooked and no warning was given.

Perhaps it was fatigue of playing back-to-back tournaments or just the fact that he was up against a much stronger opponent — it was just not Yuki’s day.

The second set saw him fight back a little, when, a break down, he broke back in the eighth game to level scores at 4-4. But Donskoy broke back immediately to go up 5-4, and then held his serve in the 10th game to win 6-4.

Top seed Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan, ranked 93 in the world, was stretched by Great Britain’s Daniel Cox, before he prevailed 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. He will take on eighth seed David Guez in the quarters.

Ti Chen advanced to the last-eight stage with a 7-5, 6-7 (0-7), 6-3 victory over Marco Chiudinelli in a match that lasted almost three hours.