India’s Somdev Devvarman crashed out in the first round of the men’s singles event at the French Open after suffering a 4-6 3-6 4-6 defeat against world no 37 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia here on Tuesday.
The big-serving Croat took little over two hours to quell the challenge of the top-ranked Indian.
It was always going to be a tough match for Somdev who doesn’t fancy playing on the clay courts. Ljubicic who is known to be a clay-court specialist fired 10 aces compared to four by the Indian.
It was Somdev’s second serve that let him down.
While Ljubicic got 70 percent of his second serve in, Somdev’s success with the second serve was a mere 47 percent.
Not only did the Croat have the superior baseline game but time and again he created pressure on the Indian ranked 66th in the world with his timely net approaches.
That was precisely the reason why Ljubicic hit as many as 40 winners.
Somdev’s only break point conversion came in the first set when he got four chances to break his opponent. Ljubicic on the other hand, converted both the break points to wrap up the first set.
Somdev couldn’t put up much resistance in the second set which he lost in only 29 minutes. He tried to put up a fight in the third set but Ljubicic didn’t have to break much sweat in moving to the next round.