Second seed Somdev Devvarman celebrated his 29 birthday with a remarkable comeback win over Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain in the quarterfinals of the State Bank of India $50,000 ATP Challengers here on Thursday.

The Indian’s performance at the Bengal Tennis Association’s Deco-Turf complex highlighted his will to regain the form that once placed him well inside the top 100 of the world rankings.

Devvarman, who has been persistently working on his physical tune-up following a shoulder surgery in 2012, appeared to regain a lot of his rhythm as the match wore on.

He started on a diffident note which was evident in the double fault he served in his very first service game. The Spaniard took advantage of the Indian’s fault to gain an early lead.

Positive effect

This reverse seemed to have a positive effect on Devvarman, who rectified the early flaws by fine-tuning his game. The Indian came back into the match breaking 208 ranked Menendez-Maceiras in the eighth game and made it 4-4.

But his joy was short-lived as the Spaniard broke him again in very next game to work up a 5-4 lead and held on to it to win the set 6-4. The Spaniard commanded the first set with a strong baseline game where the Indian fell short and failed to adequately stretch his opponent.

The second set saw a remarkable transformation as Devvarman suddenly seemed to discover the sharpness in his returns that would fetch him the winners. Devvarman broke Menendez-Maceiras twice in the second set to take a 5-0 lead. Devverman won the second set 6-1 and retained the consistency in the decider, where he broke Menendez-Maceiras in the third game. The Indian continued to press hard and in the ninth game converted his second match point to enter the next round.

Devvarman faces the third-seeded Evgeny Donskoy in the semifinals while top-seed Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan will meet the unseeded Illija Bozoljac of Serbia.

The doubles final will be an all-India affair as the pairs of Divij Sharan & Vishnu Vardhan and Saketh Myneni & Sanam Singh won their respective semifinals.

The results: Men: Singles: Quarterfinals: Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kaz) bt David Guez (Fra) 6-1, 6-3; Illija Bozoljac (Srb) bt Augustine Velotti (Arg) 6-4, 6-4; Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) bt Ti Chen (Tpe) 6-4, 6-4; Somdev Devvarman bt Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (Esp) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Doubles: Semifinals: Saketh Myneni & Sanam Singh bt Gerard Granollers & Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (Esp) 6-3, 6-7(5), 10-7; Divij Sharan & Vishnu Vardhan bt Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kaz) & Blaz Rola (Slo) 6-4, 6-4.

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