Self-belief, never say die attitude and good court movement enabled Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain inflict a shocking 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 defeat upon top-seed and World No 6 Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic and moved into the semifinals of the Aircel-Chennai Open on Friday. Agut did not get intimidated by his more fancied opponent and matched the Czech stroke for stroke.
As Berdych was on the verge of losing the first set, lost his concentration. He kept arguing with the umpire on lines calls, even after the hawk eye had cleared them. Agut exploited this state of mind of his higher ranked opponent.
In the first set after trading breaks Agut broke Berdych in the 12th game to pocket the first set. In the second set Berdych was aggressive and broke Agut in the third, fifth and seventh games. Although he was broken by Agut in the sixth game he still managed to win the set and draw parity. The final set was a virtual see-saw battle with almost every game going into a couple of deuces before either could win the game. Till the seventh game none could break each other. Agut broke Berdych in the eighth game and held on to his serve in the ninth game to win the match and cause the major upset.
Cilic crashes out
Two-time champion third-seed Marin Cilic went down fighting to fifth-seed Benoit Paire of France 4-6, 6-1, 5-7, in the first quarterfinals In the first set Cilic began well making good use of his height advantage and won the opening game in no time mainly on the strength of his serve. But suddenly when the score line was one game all, Cilic’s game dipped as he was error prone, returning poorly. In the very next game he had a chance to break Paire but once again allowed the French player to crawl back and win the game. But after that he tightened his grip and managed to break Paire in the sixth game and level the score three games all. Paire became aggressive and served better and returned well with deft placements. This irked Cilic and eventually he was broken in the seventh game. Paire never looked back and won the 10th game and the set 6-4.
Cilic dug deep and broke Paire’s serve in the fourth and sixth games to pocket the set 6-1 and level the scores one set each. The third set looked like going to the tie breaker, Cilic was broken in the 12th game and Paire won the set 7-5.
In another quarterfinal match Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene got the better of world number 17 and fourth seed Swiss Wawrinka with an impressive 6-2, 7-6(6) win that came in one hour 31 minutes.
Tipsarevic in semis
Janko Tipsarevic a top 10 player in the World had less difficulty trouncing Go Soeda of Japan, ranked No 60 in the world 6-2, 6-4 in 69 minutes in the quarterfinals. Soeda flattered to deceive by breaking Tipsarevic in the second game itself to have a 2-0 lead. Tipsarevic played with vengeance and broke the Japanese in the third, fifth, seventh games and held on to his serve in the eighth to win the set 6-2.
In the second set Soeda played better in the sense that he made Tipsarevic sweat a bit by covering the court better. However Tipsarevic tightened his game and won the 10th ending Soeda’s hopes of a comeback.