India's Somdev Devvarman matched the expectations surrounding his entry into the professional circuit as he conquered third seed Robert Kendrick of the US to win the US $ 50,000 ATP Lexington Challenger on Sunday.
Somdev, who had beaten second seed and world no.90 Bobby Reynolds in the second round, defeated Kendrick 6-3, 6-3 in the final to extend his winning streak to 15 since stepping on the tour. The Indian Davis Cupper has been unbeaten on tour this season, notching up three Futures titles in the US before adding the Challenger to his name.
"I made him work really hard," Somdev was quoted as saying on the official website. "Also, I served really well.holding serve every time certainly made it easier."
"I know I need to get better in every facet of my game," he added, admitting that he needed to be more aggressive and a better net game to crash into the top-100.
The Lexington victory has propelled the double NCAA champion from 566 to 345 in the world rankings.
He is only the third Indian since Harsh Mankad (Manchester, 2006) and Rohan Bopanna (Dublin, 2007) to win a Challenger event in the last 10 years. That he has done it in his first year on tour is a sign of hope for the country lacking champions in bigger events.