Long matches in previous rounds take their toll on Nedovyesov
The scale and context of the achievement notwithstanding, the celebration will be sober.
“It’s Sunday and I play on Tuesday again (at the ATP Dubai Open against Juan Martin del Potro). Not a whole lot of celebration for me. At the start of the week, my team and I were warming-up at the pool. We said that if I won the title, we’ll jump in. It was a joke then as I hadn’t won a title since 2010.
“Right after the match, we jumped in and went on with our lives (chuckles). May be, I’ll get a beer and good meal sometime before the flight to Dubai,” revealed Somdev Devvarman, having made a mockery of a tired Oleksandr Nedovyesov’s challenge.
In less than an hour, Devvarman accomplished a 6-3, 6-1 win to lift the ONGC GAIL Delhi Open $100,000 ATP Challenger trophy in front of a significantly large crowd at the DLTA centre court. In the true sense of the phrase, it was a no-contest.
Devvarman’s reward for a week in which he didn’t drop a set will be 100 ATP points and $14,400. This was his biggest success on the Challenger Tour as his previous two titles were at Lexington ($50,000) and Izmir ($75,000).
Like Devvarman’s semifinal, this match saw a strong start by his opponent before an irreversible fall. The crucial break of serve in the opening set arrived in the seventh game, just before the new set of balls were introduced.
“The older ball was slow, it worked to my advantage.”
Yet, one wondered what could have been had Nedovyesov played at an optimum physical level. His fitness was a decisive factor in his defeat. As Nedovyesov said after the match, “I was tired and mentally exhausted.” Long matches in the previous rounds had certainly taken their toll.
The fatigue forced the Kazakh to attempt drop shots in order to shorten the points. After initial success, Nedovyesov suffered once the tactic became obvious.
Devvarman’s exceptional serving made his task much easier. The second seed conceded only two points in his first four service games and ten overall.
A title after almost three and a half years and significant jump in rankings may not lead to rousing celebrations, but the satisfaction in Devvarman’s voice was obvious. At the age of 29, he realises that there may not be many days like this in the future.
“I have to take greater care of myself. I can’t party till 6 a.m. anymore. May be, till 4 a.m. (laughs). Sleep is more important now. But this is huge. Tennis is a brutal sport. In the main draw, 31 guys lose and one wins. So whenever I win, I cherish.”
For once, tennis wasn’t brutal to Devvarman. Before he faces a significantly tougher level of competition in Dubai, he could afford himself a smile and little celebration.
The result: Final: Somdev Devvarman bt Oleksandr Nedovyesov (Kaz) 6-3, 6-1.