Paris: Somdev Devvarman on Friday became the
first Indian in 13 years to qualify for the men`s singles
event of the French Open after scoring a 6-4, 6-1 win over
Adrian Mannarino here.
It took sixth seed Somdev one hour and 25 minutes to
quell the challenge of his French rival in the third and final
round and seal one of the 16 main draw spots up for grab.
Leander Paes was the last Indian to play in men`s singles
event of the French Open in 1997 when he made the second round
of the clay court Grand Slam.
This is for the second time that Somdev has qualified for
the men`s singles of a Grand Slam tournament. He first played
in a tennis Major at the US Open last year and had reached
Somdev`s victory means India will not go unrepresented in
the singles event of the second Grand Slam of the year since
Sania Mirza is giving a miss to women`s singles event.
Last year, Somdev had stumbled on the last hurdle here as
he had lost the final round.
Somdev had to work hard to take first set from Mannarino,
ranked 170 spots below him at 289, as the local fought tooth
There were numerous breaks as Somdev lost his serve
thrice and Mannarino twice. However, after 58-minute tussle,
Somdev succeeded in grabbing the lead.
The second set though belonged to the Indian as Somdev
broke his rival twice and sealed the set for the loss of one