US Open: Somdev out but good day for India in doubles

 
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New York, Sep 1: Somdev Devvarman let it slip after good start to go down in straight sets against fourth seed Andy Murray in the men's singles opening round but India rounded off a second successive all-win day in the doubles competitions of the US Open here.

Somdev, India''s lone men''s singles competitor, lost 6-7 (5) 2-6 3-6 against the British number one in a match lasting two hours and 27 minutes at the Arthur Ashe Stadium here.

However, Sania Mirza, ousted from the singles event, and Leander Paes moved into the second round of the women''s doubles and mixed doubles'' competitions respectively after winning their opening matches.

The 26-year-old Somdev took advantage of the rusty start by Murray, who dropped an early break and struggled to keep the ball inside the lines.

Somdev controlled the tempo initially with some nifty net play, challenging Murray with drop shots and making his fancied opponent run around.

Murray later admitted to being affected by nerves in the match.

"I was a little bit nervous at the start and making some bad decisions. Once I calmed down, felt better the middle of the first set, (I) started hitting the ball a little bit better," Murray said.

In the tiebreaker of the opening set, Murray turned the tempo of the match by ratcheting up his serve, which touched an impressive 133 mph.

Leading 5-3, Murray traded breaks with Somdev to start the second set, but it was the Scot who rebounded to break the Indian twice more to take it 6-2, displaying solid defense and first serves.

"He really takes advantage of the opportunities he gets.

Once he got ahead in the second set after a close breaker, I really felt he took complete control of the match," Somdev said of Murray.

Somdev said he foresees Murray winning a Grand Slam soon.

"He''s come so close so many times in my mind," he said.

"It''s just a matter of time before he goes out and wins a slam. I don''t know which one it will be, but the US Open suits his game quite well," he said.

Elsewhere, India had a good day in the doubles arena.

In women''s doubles, sixth seeds Sania and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina eased past Americans Samantha Crawford and Madison Keys 6-2 6-0.

In mixed doubles, Vesnia teamed up with Leander Paes to beat the Russian-British combine of Nadia Petrova and Jamie Murray.

The seventh-seeded Indo-Russian team won 6-2 6-7 (7) 1-0 (6).

PTI

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