Somdev, a wild card entrant, lost the rain-hit first round match 3-6 1-6 to his Finnish rival, who is ranked 41st in the world as against 418 of the Indian. The total duration of the match was 73 minutes after rain interrupted it for a long spell when the Indian was down by a set and was trailing 0-1 in the second.
Somdev, who was playing his first competitive match in eight months after he underwent a shoulder surgery last November, committed 21 unforced errors. The gold medal winner at the 2010 CWG Games and the Asian Games dropped his serve twice in the opening set and converted the only chance he got. Nieminen held the advantage by breaking Somdev twice in the second set as he took an unassailable 3-0 lead. Somdev showed some semblance of a fight as he broke back but it was too late as the Finn again broke the Indian's serve to close out the match.
India have another player competing in the men's singles event with Vishnu Vardhan taking on Slovakia's Blaz Kavcic. Vardhan made the draw after Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to a hamstring injury. India's medal hopes rest on the doubles pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, who will open their campaign tomorrow after their match was put off due to rains today.
Another Indian pair of Leander Paes and Vardhan are also scheduled to play their first round match on Monday.