Johannesburg: An ATP singles title slipped out of Somdev Devvarman’s hands for the second time in his career as the Indian lost the fiercely-fought summit clash of the SA Tennis Open to local favourite Kevin Anderson here on Sunday.
Unseeded Somdev, who was aiming to win his maiden ATP singles title, lost 6-4 3-6 2-6 to the fourth seed and world number 59 South African after playing scintillating tennis for two hours and 19 minutes.
It was for the second time that Somdev had made the title-round of an ATP event. He had reached the Chennai Open final in 2009 when he lost to Marin Cilic.
The last Indian to win an ATP title was Leander Paes, who beat South Africa’s Neville Godwin in 1998 at Hall of Fame Tennis championship to lift his first and only singles trophy.
Before Somdev’s sparkling show at the 2009 Chennai Open, Prakash Amritraj had reached the final of Hall of Fame Tennis championship in Newport, United States, in July 2008.
Somdev paid the price of not converting three breakpoints in the sixth game of the final set when he was down 2-3 and could have levelled the scores.
But he not only failed to draw parity but dropped his own serve in the next game and Anderson had no trouble in serving out the match.
However, Somdev’s ranking will get a boost after his brilliant show here as he earned 150 ranking points and also pocketed USD 40,300 as prize money.
Anderson got 250 points and USD 76,500 for his effort.