Somdev misses title again, ends runner-up at SA Tennis Open

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Johannesburg, Feb 6 (PTI) An ATP singles title slippedout of Somdev Devvarman''s hands for the second time in hiscareer as the Indian lost the fiercely-fought summit clash ofthe SA Tennis Open to local favourite Kevin Anderson heretoday.

Unseeded Somdev, who was aiming to win his maiden ATPsingles title, lost 6-4 3-6 2-6 to the fourth seed and worldnumber 59 South African after playing scintillating tennis fortwo hours and 19 minutes.

It was for the second time that Somdev had made thetitle-round of an ATP event. He had reached the Chennai Openfinal in 2009 when he lost to Marin Cilic.

The last Indian to win an ATP title was Leander Paes, whobeat South Africa''s Neville Godwin in 1998 at Hall of FameTennis 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 Tennischampionship in Newport, United States, in July 2008.

Somdev paid the price of not converting three breakpointsin the sixth game of the final set when he was down 2-3 andcould have levelled the scores.

But he not only failed to draw parity but dropped his ownserve in the next game and Anderson had no trouble in servingout the match.

However, Somdev''s ranking will get a boost after hisbrilliant show here as he earned 150 ranking points and alsopocketed USD 40,300 as prize money.

Anderson got 250 points and USD 76,500 for his effort. PTIAT

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