Top-seeded Somdev into semis of Comm Games

Sania Mirza beat New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic 6-2, 6-3 on

Thursday to reach the singles semifinals of a Commonwealth Games

tennis tournament which Indians are expected to dominate in the

absence of most of the eligible stars.

India’s Somdev Devvarman, seeded No. 1 in the men’s draw, beat

Rubin Statham of New Zealand 6-3, 6-4 to advance.

The 1 hour 42 minute men’s match was marked by a series of

breaks by both players, giving anxious moments to a partisan Indian

crowd as it appeared that the local hope would be stretched to the

limit by the No. 6 seed.

Somdev needed 46 minutes to win the first set after dropping his

serve in the third game but recovering immediately to break his

opponent to equal the scores at 2-2.

He broke Statham again to go up 4-2 with a forehand winner. The

pair exchanged breaks again before Somdev held.

In the second set, Somdev missed three match points in the

seventh game while leading 5-1 and dropped his serve in the eighth.

He finally served out.

Statham made 19 unforced errors, two more than Somdev, but the

Indian was far superior in scoring winners, especially the forehand

— 11 against seven by his rival.