Story Links

CHARLOTTESVILLE The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Thursday that Somdev Devvarman (Chennai, India) had been named the 2008 ITA National Player of the Year. With the honor, Devvarman becomes just the third player in the 29-year history of the award to win it twice.

Devvarman, who also won the award in 2007, joins Georgia’s Matias Boeker (2001 and 2002) and Baylor’s Benedikt Dorsch (2004 and 2005) as the only multiple winners of the award. Other past honorees include Michigan’s MaliVai Washington (1989), Stanford’s Bob Bryan (1998) and Harvard’s James Blake (1999).

This season, Devvarman repeated as NCAA Singles Champion, becoming the 13th player in the 124-year history of the tournament to win consecutive titles, and just the fourth to do so in the past 50 years. He joins Georgia’s Mikael Pernfors (1984 and 1985) and Boeker (2001 and 2002) to win consecutive NCAA Singles Championships since the current 64-player tournament format was adopted in 1977. Devvarman became the first player since USC’s Dennis Ralston (1963 and 1964) to win consecutive titles without winning at least one of them on his home courts. He also joined Arizona State’s Sargin Sargsian (1995) and UCLA’s Benjamin Kohlloeffel (2006) as the only players to win the ITA National Indoor Singles Championship and NCAA Singles Championship in the same season.

Devvarman ended the season with a 44-1 singles record, tying the school record for wins in a season he set a year before. He is believed to be the first NCAA Singles Champion to finish the season with one or fewer losses since UCLA’s Jimmy Connors went undefeated in 1971. Since then, NCAA Champions have included Georgia’s Pernfors, Stanford’s John McEnroe, Stanford’s Tim Mayotte, and Texas’s Kevin Curren, all of whom went on to be ranked in the world top 20, but lost multiple times in college during their championship season.

The award is the second national accolade for Devvarman this season. Last month he was named the ITA/Farnsworth National Senior Player of the Year, the first Cavalier to win that award.

The tape-delay broadcast of Devvarman’s victory over J.P. Smith in the 2008 NCAA Singles Championship Final will air on Monday, June 9 on the Tennis Channel and the Tennis Channel HD. The match will air at 8 p.m. ET and replay at 11 p.m. ET.

Print Friendly Version