Somdev to take on Nadal

Continuing his forceful run at Indian Wells, Somdev Devvarman caused another upset as he beat Belgian Xavier Malisse in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open ATP Masters 1000 tournament. Somdev won the last five points in the third-set tie-break to win 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) and set up a pre-quarterfinal clash with World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who outplayed American qualifier Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-1.

Somdev was down 2-5 in the tie-break against the world number 52 Belgian before he reeled off five points to win the match in two hours late on Monday night. “It’s one of those things when you’re playing with confidence, playing well, you want to keep playing, and it doesn’t happen too often,” Somdev said after the match. “I mean, for Rafa and Federer it does, but for a majority of players it’s one of those things you want to kind of ride on the impetus and keep playing, and hope for the best in your next matches,” he said.

“Rafa is obviously No. 1 in the world, won a lot of Grand Slams. I have a lot of respect for the guy. He’s one of my favourite tennis players, one of my idols, so when I’m out there I’m gonna do everything I can to win the match. I’m gonna battle as hard as I can and leave everything on the table,” Somdev added. The 26-year-old India No. 1, ranked 84, who had never won a Masters 1000 match before coming here, had earlier upset 19th seed and World No 22 Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the second round. Somdev is now the only qualifier left in the fray and even if he loses against Nadal, will take 180 ranking points the highest he has ever accumulated from a single event.


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