Prakash Amritraj of India gave a good account of himself before going down to Go Soeda of Japan in the second round of the Aircel-Chennai Open here on Wednesday. Soeda raised his game when it mattered the most to win 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 29 minutes. Winning four matches in a row is not easy. It can sap one’s energy and leave the individual physically and mentally exhausted. But a fresh Prakash Amritraj surprised one and all and put up a stiff resistance against the eighth seed.
At the start of the match, Prakash was error-prone as Soeda broke the Indian on the strength of his returns and crosscourt winners in the first game. Once Prakash got into his groove, he started serving better. He held his serve in the third game and broke Soeda in the fourth to make it 2-2.
The set was engrossing with both being involved in long rallies and also committing identical mistakes.
In the ninth game, Soeda broke Prakash after failing to convert several break points to make it 5-5. The set went to a tie-break. Prakash tried to hit the ball too hard and was off target, gifting away crucial points, which helped the Japanese to take the set.
In somewhat similar fashion to that of his first-round match against G Rufin, Prakash tightened up his game and won the second set 6-3 with breaks in the third and ninth games. Soeda’s erring backhand was the main reason for the sudden dip in his game.
The final set was a see-saw battle. For major part of the set both players tried to break each other but could not do it. At 4-4, Soeda used all his experience to break Prakash in the ninth game. Serving for the match, Soeda clinched the issue in clinical fashion.
Second seed and last year’s finalist Janko Tipsarevic made short work of Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 6-3 in another second-round match. Tipsarevic, who came into the tournament after posting an impressive win over Andy Murray in the Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament, was too strong for the Frenchman.
serb on song
Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia lived to his billing by trouncing Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 6-2, 6-3 to enter the quarterfinals. The second seed wrapped up the one-sided match in 68 minutes. Although Roger had his moments with a telling return or a big serve, he couldn’t make a dent in Serb’s serve. Tipsy as he called affectionately by the Chennai crowd did not disappoint his fans, as his power-packed groundstrokes was lapped up by the audience.
Tipsarevic was at his aggressive best, serving big and made Roger earn every point. He broke Roger in the first and third games to take the first set.
Tipsarevic, who has improved by leaps and bounds in the last two years, struck a purple match in the fifth and sixth games of the second set, winning both the games without dropping a single point.
Looking better and better with every game, Serb broke the Frenchman in the fifth and ninth games of the second set to romp home. hai brothers Sanchai Ratiwana and Sonchat Ratiwana dashed the hopes of defending champion Leander Paes and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France, wininning 7-6 (7), 6-1 to enter the quarterfinals. In another last-16 match, 2011 champion Stanislas Wawrinka breezed past Cedric-Marcel Stebe 6-4, 6-3.
Bhupathi-Nestor Move Into Last 8
India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and Canada’s Daniel Nestor moved into the doubles quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over the Indian combination of Jeevan Nedunchezhian and Sriram Balaji.
The Indo-US pair of Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram also advanced to the last eight, making short work of Lu Yen-Hsun (Taipei) and Go Soeda (Japan) 6-4, 6-3.