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May 26, 2006

STANFORD, Calif. – Virginia men’s tennis sophomore Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) continued his run at the 2006 NCAA Singles Championship with a win Friday to reach the quarterfinals. Devvarman, a 9-16 seed, reached the quarterfinals by downing No. 5 seed Ludovic Walter of Duke, 6-2, 6-3. With the win, Devvarman avenged a loss to Walter earlier in the season and became just the second Cavalier to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament (Brian Vahaly in 2000 and 2001).

In the first set, the players each held serve in the first five games, as Devvarman took a 3-2 lead. However, in Devvarman’s three service games he lost just one point per game while having two break points in each of Walter’s games. In Walter’s third service game, Devvarman finally took advantage of a break point opportunity and took a 4-2 lead. After Devvarman easily held serve to go up 5-2, he broke Walter again to close out the first set 6-2.

In the second set, both players easily held in the first two games. Serving at 1-1, Devvarman fell behind 0-30 after a controversial line call. He rallied to hold serve, fighting off Walter’s first break point of the match to take a 2-1 lead. In the next game, the players would play a marathon game that had nine deuces. Devvarman had six break points, but Walter fought off each one and eventually held serve to tie the set at 2-2. The players each held serve with little suspense in the next three games as Devvarman took a 4-3 lead. With Walter serving the next game, Devvarman took a 15-30 edge, before Walter double-faulted to give the Cavalier a pair of break points. Devvarman won the next point to give him a 5-3 lead and a chance to serve for the match. However, Walter jumped out to a 15-40 lead in that game. Devvarman fought off the two break points against him to get to deuce. At deuce, he hit an ace to give him his first match point, which Walter saved. After Devvarman saved another break point by Walter, Devvarman got his second match point, which he won, to clinch the 6-2, 6-3 win.

Devvarman will meet Sheeva Parbhu of Notre Dame, ranked No. 32 nationally, in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Devvarman, seeded No. 9-16, is the only seeded player remaining in the lower half of the draw.

Also in action on Friday was the Cavalier doubles team of Nick Meythaler (Owensboro, Ky.) and Rylan Rizza (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.). The Virginia duo, seeded 5-8, was upset in its second round match by Jordan Freitas and Rafael Abreu of TCU, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

In the opening set, both teams had numerous break point opportunities, but only one break of service occurred, as the Horned Frogs took a 5-3 lead and took the opening set 6-4. In the second set, Virginia went up a break early, 2-0, and held that advantage throughout the set, taking it 6-3. In the final set, Virginia went up a break at 2-1 and held that advantage at 5-3. With TCU serving, the Cavaliers had two match points at 15-40, but TCU saved them both and held serve. In the next game, with Virginia serving for the match, TCU broke to even the match at 5-5. TCU held easily to take a 6-5 lead and had a match point of their own at 30-40 in the Cavalier service game. Virginia would win the next three points to win the game and force a tiebreaker. Virginia never led in the breaker, but fought back from down 5-3 to tie it at 5-5. However, TCU won the next two points to win the breaker 7-5 and the match.

The NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship continue Saturday with quarterfinal action at the Taube Tennis Center on the campus of Stanford University. The semifinals are scheduled for Sunday with the finals on Monday.

NCAA Singles Championship

Third Round – May 26, 2006
#14 Somdev Devvarman (Virginia) def. #5 Ludovic Walter (Duke) 6-2, 6-3

Quarterfinals – May 27, 2006
#14 Somdev Devvarman (Virginia) vs. #32 Sheeva Parbhu (Notre Dame)

NCAA Doubles Championship

Second Round – May 26, 2006
#27 Abreu/Freitas (TCU) def. #7 Rizza/Meythaler (Virginia) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5)

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