The world number 68 went down 3-6 2-6 to his rival, who is ranked as low as 232 in the ATP charts.
It was first meeting between the two players. Somdev would now look to do well in the doubles event, for which he has paired with Swiss player Yves Allegro. They will open their campaign against the German pair of Dustin Brown and Dominik Meffert.
It is Somdev's third tournament in the clay court season, with his best so far coming at Serbia Open, where he reached the singles quarter-finals.