India's Somdev Devvarman announced his retirement from professional tennis on Sunday.
Starting 2017 on a new note, retiring from pro tennis. Thanks to everyone for the love and support over the years. #newyearnewbeginnings
- Somdev Devvarman (@SomdevD) 1 January 2017
Devvarman, 31, is the lastIndian singles player to have featured in an ATP Tour final - reaching the championship match of the Chennai Open in 2009 and the South African Open (no longer an ATP event) in 2011 - and also played a crucial role in India's Davis Cup team, having played 25 rubbers across 14 ties since making his debut against Uzbekistan in 2008.
Devvarman's last professional match was at an ITF Futures tournament in Calabasas, California, in March last year, where he lost in the first round of qualifying. His last appearance in the main draw of an ATP tournament was in last year's Chennai Open, where he advanced to the Round of 32 before losing to Russia's Andrey Rublev in three sets. Devvarman's singles ranking had fallen to 909 by the end of 2016.
Born in Guwahati, Assam, Devvarman grew up in Kolkata and later in Chennai before moving to the United States to attend college at the University of Virginia, for whom Devvarman won back-to-back singles titles in the NCAA, US' college tennis championship, defeating big-serving American and current World No. 19 John Isner in the 2007 final and JP Smith in the 2008 final. After completing a degree in sociology, Devvarman turned pro the same year.
Devvarman entered the quarterfinals of the Washington Open and also made his Davis Cup debut in his first year as pro -- his ranking jumped from 1033 at the start of the year to 204 at the end of the year as a result. In 2009, he made the final of the Chennai Open, where he lost to Croatia's Marin Cilic. He also qualified for the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time, reaching the second round of the US Open to finish the year ranked 126.
In 2010, Devvarman won singles gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, then went on to become the first man since Japan's Toshiro Sakai to win singles and doubles gold medals at the Asian Games -- he defeated Denis Istomin 6-1, 6-2 in the singles final and partnered Sanam Singh to lift the doubles title.
Devvarman made his second, and only other, ATP final at the 2011 South African Open, losing to home favourite Kevin Anderson. That year, his ranking touched a career-high 62. The highlight of his year, though, was winning the Arjuna Award, becoming the first tennis player since Sania Mirza in 2004 to win the honour.
A shoulder injury left him inactive through most of 2012, and he dropped to 664 by year-end as a result.
Devvarman also made the main draws of Grand Slams a bunch of times, advancing to the second round at each of the majors at least once.
But perhaps where the contribution of Devvarman's baseline game was felt most was in the Davis Cup. The right-handed counterpuncher played 24 singles rubbers, winning 14 of them. Most memorable of these were his wins over Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely to keep India alive in the World Group Playoff tie in 2015 and his five-set win over Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in the World Group Playoff tie in 2014. Devvarman lost the only doubles rubber he ever played.