May 29, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. – Virginia men’s tennis sophomore Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) had his bid for the 2006 NCAA Singles Championship fall short on Monday, falling to top-seeded Benjamin Kohlloeffel of UCLA in the final, 6-1, 6-4.
In the first set, the players each held serve in the first three games as Kohlloeffel built a 2-1 lead. However, Kohlloeffel took control of the opening set from that point forward, breaking Devvarman twice en route to winning the next four games and taking the set 6-1. In the second set, Kohlloeffel continued his momemtum by winning the first two games, before Devvarman held to cut the advantage to 2-1. After Kohlloeffel held to up 3-1, Devvarman took a 40-15 lead in his service game, but Kohlloeffel rallied to break Devvarman’s serve again to take a 4-1 lead. Devvarman began to rally in the set, breaking Kohlloeffel in the next game and then holding his serve to cut the advantage to 4-3. However, he couldn’t break Kohlloeffel again, who held on the win the second set 6-4 to clinch the NCAA title.
“I thought he started off pretty well, he got a few of the breaks, but that is just how it goes sometimes,” said Devvarman. “Overall he played a very solid match and didn’t give me much of an opportunity to take control.”
Devvarman became just the second Cavalier to reach the final of the NCAA Singles Championship. Brian Vahaly also made the final in 2001, falling to Matias Boeker of Georgia.
“It was a good run in the tournament for me,” added Devvarman. “The work I put in with the team and coaches paid off. They certainly helped develop my game throughout the year and it showed this week. It would have been nice to come out the winner, but I have no regrets because I’m coming back to get better and hope for more next year.”
Devvarman closes out his sophomore season with a 31-13 singles record, tying the school record for singles wins by a second-year set earlier this year by classmate Treat Huey (Alexandria, Va.).
Kohlloeffel, the nation’s top ranked player, ended his season by with a 47-4 singles record, including winning 27 of his last 28 matches.
Devvarman is one of seven Cavaliers on this season’s roster with eligibility remaining for next season. Virginia finished 2006 with a 24-9 record and a No. 8 national ranking after reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
NCAA Singles Championship
Final – May 29, 2006
#1 Benjamin Kohlloeffel (UCLA) def. #14 Somdev Devvarman (Virginia) 6-1, 6-4