TULSA, Okla. Top-seeded Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) reached the semifinals of the 2008 NCAA Singles Championship with a 6-0, 6-7 (2), 6-3 win over Denes Lukacs of Baylor at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Since the NCAA Singles Championship adopted its current format, separating from the team tournament in 1977, Devvarman becomes the first player to reach the semifinals in three consecutive years. The win was Devvarman’s 16th career NCAA Singles Championship victory, extending his tournament record. He improves to 42-1 this season in singles and has won his last 34 consecutive matches.
Devvarman opened the match strong, taking the first set 6-0. It marked the first time Lukacs’ collegiate career that he had ever lost a set 6-0.
Lukacs, a 9-16 seed, rallied to force a tight second set. The match remained on serve until 5-5, although both players held serve in a five-deuce game that featured numerous break points against. Devvarman broke Lukacs at 5-5 to serve for the match, but Lukacs broke back to force a tiebreaker. Lukacs won the tiebreaker 7-2 to take the match to a decisive third set.
In the final set, the match remained on serve until midway through when Devvarman broke Lukacs to take a 4-2 lead. He maintained that one-break advantage and closed out the set 6-3.
The win was the second of the season for Devvarman against Lukacs. In the regular season meeting between Virginia and Baylor on March 1 at the Boyd Tinsley Courts, Devvarman topped Lukacs 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
Devvarman will meet Stanford freshman Alex Clayton, the No. 8 seed, in the semifinals Sunday. Clayton defeated Bassam Beidas of Pepperdine 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Devvarman and Clayton have met once this year, with Devvarman winning 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Championship in November.