May 23, 2007
ATHENS, Ga. -
Virginia junior Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) reached the second round of the 2007 NCAA Singles Championship with a 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 win over Sheeva Parbhu of Notre Dame Monday morning in a first round match at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. In other first round action, Treat Huey (Alexandria, Va.) fell 6-3, 6-4 to Jesse Levine of Florida.
Devvarman, the tournament's No. 2 seed, opened his match strong. After Parbhu held serve in the first game of the match, Devvarman won six consecutive games to take the first set 6-1. He continued the momentum into the second set and built a 4-1 lead. However, Parbhu responded and rallied to win four consecutive games to take a 5-4 lead. With Parbhu serving for the second set, Devvarman broke to get to 5-5. Parbhu broke back in the following game and then held serve to win the second set 7-5. In the deciding set, Parbhu took an early advantage by breaking Devvarman at 1-1 to take a 2-1 lead. He held that advantage until Devvarman broke back to even the final set at 4-4. Both players held serve over the next four games to force a tiebreaker to decide the match. Devvarman jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the breaker before Parbhu won a pair of points to cut the advantage to 3-2. The Cavalier junior then won the next four points to win the breaker 7-2 and the match 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (2).
For Devvarman, it marked the third consecutive year he won his opening round match of the NCAA Tournament. Last season he reached the finals, falling to UCLA's Benjamin Kohlloeffel. In that tournament, he defeated Parbhu in the quarterfinals. The win was also Devvarman's 39th singles win of the season, the second most in school history and tying his personal high set in 2005. He is one win of tying the school record of 40 single wins in a season set by Brian Vahaly in 2001 when he reached the NCAA singles final in Athens.
Huey played third seeded Levine, the ITA National Freshman of the Year, who has an undefeated collegiate singles record. The players remained on serve in the first set until Levine broke Huey to go up 5-3 and then held to win the opening set 6-3. Levine opened a 4-0 lead in the second set and was up 5-1. Huey held serve and then broke Levine in the next to close to 5-3 in the set. After Huey held to get to 5-4, Levine held to close out the set and the match, 6-3, 6-4. Huey ends his singles season with a 35-7 record.
Devvarman will meet Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State in the second round Thursday. Nedovyesov defeated Roy Sichel of Charlotte 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in a first round match Wednesday. Thursday also marks the start of the NCAA Doubles Championship. Devvarman and Huey are the No. 2 seed in the draw and will play Travis Helgeson and Matic Omerzel in the first round.