Sunday January 6, 2013
Favourite Berdych falls in Chennai
CHENNAI: Top seed Tomas Berdych crashed out of the ATP Chennai Open on Friday on a night of dramatic upsets that saw third seed Marin Cilic and number four Stanislas Wawrinka also bow out.
Berdych, the world number six from the Czech Republic, was stunned by the 80th-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who won 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to storm into his first ATP semi-final.
The 24-year-old Agut, one of the 13 Spaniards to finish in the top-100 last year, showed no signs of nerves as he served and volleyed superbly to beat the tournament favourite in two hours and 17 minutes.
“This is of course my biggest win on the Tour,” said Agut, who was playing in only his second ATP quarter-final.
“I am happy to make such a good start in the first week of the season.”
Agut’s semi-final opponent on Saturday will be 47th-ranked Benoit Paire of France, who knocked out world number 15 Cilic 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 earlier on Friday.
Paire, who had never beaten a top-20 player before, said he looked forward to the semi-final.
“There are no easy matches on the circuit, especially a semi-final,” he said.
“I have to prepare well for it.”
Wawrinka was waylaid by 23-year-old Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia, who advanced to his maiden ATP semi-final with a 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) win in an hour and 31 minutes.
The 86th-ranked Bedene will clash with world number nine Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia for a place in the final of the US$430,000 season opener.
Second seed Tipsarevic, the only survivor among the top four pre-tournament favourites, swept aside eighth seed Go Soeda of Japan 6-2, 6-4. — AFP