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Somdev enters Chennai Open semis

Last updated on: January 09, 2009 23:56 IST

Indian wildcard Somdev Devvarman toppled world number 25 Ivo Karlovic to reach the semi-finals of the Chennai Open on Friday.

The 23-year-old baseliner counter-punched hard to subdue the big-serving Croatian 7-6 6-4 in one hour and 27 minutes to enter his first ATP Tour event semi-final.

The highest-ranked Indian at 202, Devvarman, who stunned former world number one Carlos Moya in the previous round in what has been a dream run in his home event, will meet fifth-seeded German Rainer Schuettler in the last four on Saturday.

Third-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic will meet Spaniard Marcel Granollers, seeded eight, in the other semi-final.

Devvarman, who is based in the United States, produced another inspired display to clinch the first set on a tie-breaker with a service winner as a partisan crown in a city where he spent his formative years loudly cheered for the home favourite.

The Indian displayed tenacity in the second set as he broke his 208-cm fourth-seeded opponent in the 10th game to clinch a spectacular victory, hitting seven aces to Karlovic's 10.

"Every single point I just tried to stay solid and make him work hard for points," Devvarman told reporters.

World number 27 Cilic rediscovered his rhythm when it mattered most to shut out Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-4 0-6 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

Cilic recovered after being blanked in the second set to win in just over two hours against a feisty opponent ranked 20 places lower.

"He wasn't playing too good in the first set, I wasn't in the second. I served really good in the third one and got away this time," said 20-year-old Cilic, who will be appearing in his second straight semi-final in Chennai.

Schuettler defeated countryman Bjorn Phau 6-2 7-5 while Granollers beat Czech wildcard Lukas Dlouhy 7-5 2-6 6-4.

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