London: Somdev Devvarman missed chances galore, including a match point, as he crashed out of the Wimbledon qualifiers after losing a gruelling and energy-sapping first round match against Australia`s Matt Reid, here on Monday.
Somdev, who is ranked 78 places above the Reid at 135, frittered away a good start to lose 6-7 (4) 6-4 16-18 in his opening round of the only Grass Court Grand Slam of the season.
Somdev had a good lead in the first set and had a match point in the ninth game of the third set but allowed Reid to comeback every time and went on to lose the match.
The two players fought tooth and nail in the 34-game third set and it was Reid who won the battle of nerves as he broke Somdev in the 34th game to move to second round.
Somdev`s defeat means that there won`t be any Indian in the men`s singles draw of the Wimbledon this year.
It was first meeting between Somdev, who was seeded 22nd in the qualifiers and unseeded Reid.
Somdev had taken a 3-1 lead after an early break but dropped serve in the fifth game to allow the Australian make it an even affair.
The set went with serve from that point and it took a tie-breaker to finish the first set. Reid took control of the tie-breaker by racing to a 5-1 lead and comfortably pocketed a one-set lead.
The second set was fought fiercely and Somdev faced exit when he was down 0-40 in the sixth game but saved all the three breakpoints.
Eventually, Somdev succeeded in getting that elusive break in the ninth game and served out the set in the next.
Going with the momentum, Somdev broke Ried in the first game of the third set. He saved a break chance in the next game and soon he was up 3-1.
Somdev had a match point in the ninth game but not squandered that but also dropped his serve in the next game to allow Reid make it 5-5.
The Australian held is own in the next and Somdev was now serving to stay in the match. What followed next was an incredible battle of fitness and nerves as they went on to hold serve till 34th game.
Somdev had break chances in 29th and 31st games but Reid came back to continue the battle.
First Published: Monday, June 17, 2013, 19:37