Paris: India’s tennis slam hopes were jolted on Tuesday as Somdev Devvarman crashed out of the French Open, losing in straight sets to Croatian big-serving giant Ivan Ljubicic.
Somdev lost 4-6, 3-6, 4-6 to Ljubicic, ranked 37th in the world, in a one sided battle.
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 had 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 that Ljubicic hit as many as 40 winners.
1Somdev`s only break point conversion came in the first set when he got four chances to break his opponent. Ljubicic on the otherhand 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.
Somdev has never made it past the first round at Roland Garros and his dismal record remained the same after the much anticipated claycourt tie.