India’s Somdev Devvarman saved three match points but fell short against American Kevin Kim 4-6, 7-6 (10-8), 4-6 in the final of the $50,000 Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger tournament.

The Indian came back strongly after losing the first set. He saved three match points in the second set to draw level. But in the end Kim, ranked No.87, managed to edge past Devvarman in the thrilling baseline slugfest.

“It’s disappointing to lose in the finals,” Somdev said.

“But it’s just another match and I will learn from it. I am playing at Knoxville next and try to perform better.”

Somdev, who is based here and twice won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) representing University of Virginia, said he loved every moment playing here.

“The crowd was cheering for me. It was awesome to play in front of my friends,” he said.

“I love playing here and really grateful to all the support that came my way.”

Second seeded Kim said he felt relieved after the match that had endless rallies.

“I thought it took me I don’t how many match points to get through with the match,” Kim said. “Every match point was at least 30 balls. It was a torture.”

Kim had survived a scare in the quarterfinal against another India player Sanam Singh, a University of Virginia sophomore.

Kim was leading 4-3 in the final set against Somdev when he had a fall.

“I knew once I fell to the ground, I kind of knew my chances of staying in a long rally weren’t good so I kind of attacked him and that paid off.”

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