(Last Updated on : 01/02/2018)
Somdev Devvarman, also referred as Somdev Kishore Devvarman, is a former Indian tennis player
who was applauded for his outstanding performance in three consecutive final tennis
matches at the NCAA Men's Tennis Championships. He won the collegiate level winning back-to-back finals in his junior and senior years at the University of Virginia. Only three other players have matched this record since 1950.
Early Life of Somdev Devvarman
Somdev Devvarman was born in a Tripuri Hindu family
. His parents names are Ranjana and Pravanjan Dev Varman who was a retired income tax commissioner. He belongs to the Indian state
. His family moved to Kolkata
when he was 3 to 4 months old. Somdev started playing tennis at the age of nine and studied at Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School.
Career of Somdev Devvarman
Somdev Devvarman started competing in tournaments in 2002 at the age of 17. His biggest success was during the time when he won the Kolkata F2 championship in 2004, after which he got the rank of 666 in the world tennis rankings. He then moved to the United States of America and often competed at the University of Virginia. He won the 2007 NCAA Singles Championship by defeating Georgia Bulldog's senior John Isner in the finals. A year later, he defeated Tennessee's J.P. Smith to win his second consecutive NCAA Singles National Championship title. He became the 13th player to win the following titles in the 124 years history of the tournament. He then finished his university
study with a degree in sociology.
He won his first career title in a Futures tournament in Rochester, New York at The University of Virginia. At the end of 2010, he was felicitated by the Tamil Nadu
Tennis Association in Chennai
. He then made into the finals of the Kennedy Funding Invitational in New York, in July 2007. In a clay court event, he defeated Ricardo Mello, Robert Kendrick, and Justin Gimelstob, before losing a three-set match to world rank 69 Michael Russell in the final.
He reached his first Association of Tennis Professionals Tour final at the 2009 Chennai Open. He started in singles by qualifying in 2009 year's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open. He then defeated Prakash Amritraj
in his first qualifying round. He lost to Lukasz Kubot of Poland in the second round however. He had a victorious Davis Cup
campaign, winning both his matches against Chinese Taipei, including a reverse singles match against world rank 59 Yen-Hsun Lu to lead India to win. He was then seeded to 26th in singles by qualifying in the second Grand Slam the French Open in 2009. In the third Grand Slam of 2009, Wimbledon, he seeded to 14th in succeeding, but failed to proceed to the singles draw and lost to Jean-Rene Lisnard of Monaco. In doubles, Devvarman and his partner Kevin Anderson entered to the main draw, but lost to the fourth-seeded pair Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles.
In the US Open, Devvarman beat Janowicz to meet the criteria for his first Grand Slam singles. He after that reached the quarterfinals of the SA Open in Johannesburg. He also reached the second round of the ATP World Tour 500 series Dubai Tennis Championships. He also led India's Davis Cup team in their match in opposition to Russia. He also won the men's tennis gold medal in the Commonwealth Games 2010 at Delhi
. He won the singles gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou, China. Then he was given direct entry into the South African Tennis Open 2011, an ATP 250 tournament, by asset of his good ranking in the ATP track and lost to Kevin Anderson. Then he reached his career-best ranking of world rank 80. He got the wild card entry for the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships. He faced world rank 2 Roger Federer and lost the match.
He started 2012 with a chronic shoulder injury and accepted a wildcard entry to participate in men's singles event at the 2012 London Olympics
. He lost to Tom Burn in the Great Britain F13 event in the first round. After that, he went for US Open with a protected ranking of 85. He lost to Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the first round. He apparently recovered from the injuries in 2013. He won through to the second round of the Chennai Open before succumbing to Tomas Berdych. He then played in Australian open, where he qualified for the second round. However, he lost in the second round to world rank 24 Jerzy Janowicz. Somdev then played against Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the first round of 2013 US Men's Clay Court Championships. He used his secluded ranking of 85 for the last time to enter this tournament. However he lost in the first round.
At the French Open, he qualified for the main draw. In the first round, he beat Daniel Munoz-De La Nava in straight sets. Then, he had a second-round match-up with Roger Federer. He faced Matt Reid in the first round of the Wimbledon qualifiers and lost the match. In February 2014, he defeated Kazakhstan's Aleksandr Nedovyesov to win the singles of the 2014 ONGC–GAIL Delhi Open. He defended his title in February against Yuki Bhambri in the 2015 Delhi Open. On 1st January 2017, Somdev announced his retirement from professional tennis. He is the recipient of the Arjuna Award
from the Indian government
in the year 2011 for tennis matches in national levels. He has also received the Padma Shree
award in 2018.
Personal Life of Somdev Devvarman
Somdev is the grandson of Bikramendra Kishore Debbarman, who is Tripura's royal scion. He is a great admirer of Roger Federer, apart from harbouring a liking for Mahesh Bhupathi
, Leander Paes
and Krishnans. He loves watching cricket matches and his idol is Sachin Tendulkar
. He is associated with Globosport, which is the official organisation of Mahesh Bhupathi.