NEW DELHI - India's top singles star Somdev Devvarman lifted his third ATP Challenge title as he outclassed top seed Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-3 6-1 in the final of the $100,000 ONGC-GAIL Open here on Feb. 23. The start to the title clash was great but Nedovyesov's challenge fizzled out as the game wore on. The way Somdev dominated the proceedings was evident with the fact that he conceded just 10 points on his eight service games.
Out of these, five were conceded only in the fifth game of the second set. Playing his fourth Challenger level final, Somdev needed 59 minutes to bag his third title and first since 2010 when he had triumphed in Izmir, Turkey. His first title came in 2008 in Lexington, USA. Nedovyesov was gunning for his fourth Challenger title but it was not his day. Nothing worked for him even as he made a superb start, hinting a cracker of contest was in store. Playing three three-set matches, including one during his doubles campaign, in the tournament had taken all his energy. He admitted that he was mentally exhausted coming into the final. Nevertheless, Somdev's dominance was a treat for close to 3000 fans, who had turned up to watch country's number one player in action at R K Khanna Tennis stadium. "Aleksandr is a fantastic player. He made it incredibly tough for me initially. He was struggling a but after that, I wish him success for the rest of the season," Somdev said after the win. He also thanked fans for coming up in good numbers. "It's incredible to see so many people in a Challenger. Thanks for coming." (PTI)