Former University tennis star to compete in Olympics
Devvarman earns wild-card spot on Indian national squad
Decorated former Virginia men’s tennis star and current professional Somdev Devvarman will compete for his native India in the men’s singles portion of the Olympic Games in London later this month, the International Tennis Federation announced last Tuesday.
Despite a shoulder injury that has kept him out of action since January, Devvarman received one of the ITF’s eight wild-card bids to round out a 64-player field which includes the world’s premier tennis stars, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Devvarman’s inclusion means eight players from India will compete across the different tennis competitions in London, marking an all-time high for the densely populated Asian nation. Devvarman is the country’s lone men’s singles representative.
During his four-year tenure at Virginia from 2004-8, Devvarman compiled the most prolific individual career in the program’s history. The only men’s tennis player to reach three consecutive NCAA men’s singles finals, the Chennai, India native won individual national titles in 2007 and 2008 and helped establish Coach Brian Boland’s squad as one of the nation’s finest men’s tennis programs. With a 44-1 singles record in his senior season in 2008, Devvarman tied the school record for wins and became the first men’s tennis player since UCLA prodigy and professional legend Jimmy Connors in 1971 to finish a season with one or fewer losses.
Devvarman reached a career-high No. 62 in the ATP world rankings in 2011 before his shoulder ailment sent him plummeting to his current spot at No. 259.
The tennis competitions are slated to begin July 28.
- Compiled by Fritz Metzinger