NEW DELHI, Feb 22 (PTI): India�s top singles star Somdev Devvarman lifted his third ATP Challenge title as he outclassed top seed Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the USD 100,000 ONGC-GAIL Open here today.
The start to the title clash was great but Nedovyesov�s challenge fizzled out as the game wore on. The way Somdev dominated the proceedings was evident with the fact that he conceded just 10 points on his eight service games.
Out of these, five were conceded only in the fifth game of the second set.
Playing his fourth Challenger level final, Somdev needed 59 minutes to bag his third title and first since 2010 when he had triumphed in Izmir Turkey. His first title came in 2008 in Lexington, USA.
Nedovyesov was gunning for his fourth Challenger title but it was not his day. Nothing worked for him even as he made a superb start, hinting a cracker of contest was in store.
Playing three three-set matches, including one during his doubles campaign, in the tournament had taken all his energy. He admitted that he was mentally exhausted coming into the final.
Nevertheless, Somdev�s dominance was a treat for close to 3000 fans, who had turned up to watch country�s number one player in action at RK Khanna Tennis stadium.
�Aleksandr is a fantastic player. He made it incredibly tough for me initially. He was struggling a but after that, I wish him success for the rest of the season,� Somdev said after the win.
He also thanked fans for coming up in good numbers.
�It�s incredible to see so many people in a Challenger. Thanks for coming.�
The two players began the summit clash in tremendous fashion as they came out with solid service games. Games were being served at love and they had conceded just two points each on their serves till first six games.
Nedovyesov quite often dropped volleys. The intention was clear, not to give rallies. The ploy worked initially but also proved costly in the seventh and ninth games for the Kazakh.
At 15-15 in the seventh game, Nedovyesov dropped one short but it was not positioned well as Somdev reached out to it and banged a forehand winner. Nedovyesov netted a backhand on the following point to be down by two break points. Another forehand error and Somdev was up a break.
The Indian consolidated the break with another hold at love and this time with two aces.
Desperate to comeback in the contest, Nedovyesov dropped another volley but Somdev yet again picked it well and smashed it for a winner to take first point. In seconds, the Kazakh was down by three set points and he sent one forehand to net to hand the set to the home favourite.