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The Humble Champ

July 2007
The Humble Champ

Somdev Devvarman, a junior at University of Virginia, became the first Indian to win the NCAA singles tennis championship when he beat Georgia's John Isner 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 in Athens, Ga., recently.

He impressed observers not only with his tennis skills, but also his humility. As columnist Jerry Ratcliffe of the Charlottesville, Va., Daily Progress wrote, "The 22-year-old had just reached the pinnacle of his sport and spent more time thanking his coaches, teammates, and family than talking about himself. In this day of demanding athletes, Devvarman is a refreshing pause."

Devvarman, who trained at Brittannia Amritraj Tennis Academy in Chennai before being recruited to Virginia, also became the first men's player in ACC history to win an NCAA singles title.

Will he one day contend for a Grand Slam title? We can only hope, given that a number of former NCAA champions have enjoyed success on the professional tour, most notably John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

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