Chennai, Jan 4: It was a black Tuesday for home players as Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna and Yuki Bhambri were knocked out of the singles competition in the Aircel ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament.
Devvarman’s 2-6, 4-6, loss to the relatively unknown 20-year old Belgian David Goffin was a rude while Bhambri and Bopanna, both wild card entries, offered little resistance, going down in straight sets to qualifier Alexandre Kudryavtsev of Russia and third seed Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland), respectively.
Wawrinka joined fellow-seeds, Tomas Berdych (1), Richard Gasquet (4) and Xavier Malisse (7) and Robin Haase (8) in the second round.
Berdych, ranked No.6, and the 2010 Wimbledon finalist, was in good touch while
demolishing Portugese journeyman Frederico Gil 6-0, 6-1, Malisse, winner here in 2007, ousted Marsel Ilhan of Turkey 6-3, 6-1, while Gasquet won an all-French battle against qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-1, 6-3 and Gasquet rallied after losing the first set to beat Dancevic 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4.
Devvarman, gold medallist at the Commonwealth and Asian Games last year and ranked 106 to Goffin’s 229, was broken twice in the first set as the Belgian opened a 4-0 lead and later served out the set.
There was some semblance of contest in the second set that went with serve until Devvarman was broken in the seventh as Goffin, with his fluid movements and solid ground strokes emerged an impressive winner.
Goffin more than matched Devvarman from the backcourt from where the two indulged in a slugfest as the Belgian stayed with his opponent through the longish rallies most of which he won.
“Before I say anything else, all credit to him for playing well and better than I did. He came through three qualifying matches and so was in good nick.
“Overall, I am very disappointed with my performance. I was hitting well in practice, but obviously that does not count. What matters is how you do in the matches. I have no excuses,” said Devvarman, a finalist here in 2009.
Earlier, Bopanna, back on the court where he had helped India beat Brazil in a Davis Cup match last year, could not reproduce the sparkle against Wawrinka who played solid, if unspectacular, tennis in a repeat of last year’s match in this tournament.
A break of serve in the seventh game of the first set and first of the second put the 21st ranked Wawrinka in control of the match that lasted 67 minutes.
On his part, Bopanna had his chances when he had a few breakpoints, but on each occasion, Wawrinka survived courtesy his first serves.
“It being my first match of the season, it was never easy, but I served well and was aggressive. Yes, it was good to win in straight sets,” said Wawrinka.
Meanwhile, 18-year old Bhambri looked rather lost against Kudryavtsev, ranked 159, who made the best of the tepid offerings to win 6-2, 6-1.
“I didn’t play according to the situation. I just went out there and started playing shots. I should have waited and seen how things progressed rather than having a single-minded approach. But I learnt my lessons,” said Bhambri who won just two service games in the 50-minute match and was broken thrice in each set.
Singles (1st round): Q-Alexandre Kudryavtsev (RUS) bt WC-Yuki Bhambri (IND) 6-2, 6-1; 4-Richard Gasquet (FRA) bt Q-Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 6-1, 6-3; 7-Xavier Malisse (BEL) bt Marsel Ilhan (TUR) 6-3, 6-1; 1-Tomas Berdych (CZE) bt Frederico Gil (POR) 6-0, 6-1; 3-Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) bt WC-Rohan Bopanna (IND) 6-4, 6-4; Alejandro Falla (COL) bt Rui Machado (POR) 7-5, 6-3; 8-Robin Haase (NED) bt Frank Dancevic (CAN) 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4; David Goffin (BEL) bt Somdev Devvarman (IND) 6-2, 6-4; Blaz Kavcic (SLO) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-3, 6-2; Yuichi Sugita (JPN) bt Dustin Brown (GER) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
Doubles (1st round): Simone Bolelli (ITA) / Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) bt WC-Divij Sharan / Vishnu Vardhan (IND) 6-2, 6-2; Marin Cilic / Ivan Dodig (CRO) bt Leos Friedl (CZE) / Jordan Kerr (AUS) 6-0, 7-5.