It was paisa vasool (worth the money) for the capacity crowd at the SDAT Tennis Stadium here on Sunday. In a high quality summit clash, Janko Tipsarevic staged a strong comeback from a set down to overcome Roberto Bautista-Agut 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 and win the Aircel Chennai Open for the first time. After finishing second best in the last edition, the Serb took 109 minutes to bag his fourth career title. The charged up atmosphere in the stadium motivated the players to give their best.
Agut started off aggressively in the first game of the match and showed it will not be a cakewalk for his higher-ranked opponent (world No 9). He varied the pace of his return to force mistakes from the Serb. Agut, who had become the giant-killer in the tournament, held his serve after saving a break point in the first game.
The Spaniard broke error-strewn Tipsarevic in the next game to forge ahead. With the match producing long rallies, Agut held on to his break to seal the first set. Tipsarevic had to use all his experience to win three games against the inspired Spaniard. However, after being outclassed for most part of the set, Tipsarevic showed signs of getting back his rhythm by holding his serve with ease in the eighth game.
Tipsarevic struck a purple patch in the second set to win five straight games. He broke Agut’s serve in the second and fourth games with striking returns and deft placements to make it one-set all, losing just a single game.
Agut’s game dipped as the match progressed. He would play one good return followed by two unforced errors nullifying all the good work. His inconsistency played a part in Tipsarevic bouncing back strongly. The decider was a high-voltage affair and the player who held his nerve was likely to win the match. The first two games went on serve before Tipsarevic raised his game to break Agut in the third game. From that point, Agut had to fight hard just to hold his serve. Tipsarevic won his games easily showing he could handle pressure better than his opponent having played at the highest level. Mistakes started creeping into his game with Agut desperately trying to break Tipsarevic’s serve. With the momentum shifting, Tipsarevic executed a delectable volley and pulsating return to broke Agut in the 9th game to pocket the set & match. Tipsarevic took home $23950 and 250 ATP points for his victory. Agut got $12590 and 150 ATP points for his efforts.