Tuesday January 8, 2013
Tipsarevic fights back to triumph in Chennai
CHENNAI: World No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic won the ATP Chennai Open with a masterful fightback to defeat young Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the final on Sunday.
The second-seeded Serb came back strongly after losing the first set to beat the 80th-ranked Agut 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 in an hour and 49 minutes at the Nungambakkam tennis stadium.
Tipsarevic conceded just four games in the last two sets to end the giant-killing run by the 24-year-old Spaniard, who defeated top-seed Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals.
Tipsarevic won the Chennai title for the first time after five unsuccessful attempts, including a loss to big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in last year’s final.
Tipsarevic earned US$69,500 and 250 ranking points for the morale-boosting win ahead of the season’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on Jan 14.
Agut took home US$36,650 and 150 points after making his first-ever Tour final.
“I am extremely proud of finally winning in Chennai,” Tipsarevic said. “I just love this place and was desperate to win. It also gives me just the start I need for the season.
“To be fair to Roberto, I did not play my best tennis. I was too passive in the first set and waited for him to make mistakes. But I am happy I was mentally stable and came back in the final two sets.”
Tipsarevic, asked if his next goal was the Australian Open title, said he was realistic enough not to dream about it.
“Men’s tennis is tougher than ever before. Its not easy to beat the top players. To win a Grand Slam I will have to beat at least three of the top four. I hope I can achieve that some day.”
Agut, who was treated for an abdominal strain in the second set, said the injury hindered his movement later in the match.
“I hope it is not too serious,” he said. “I will rest for a few days and pray that it does not stop me from playing in the Australian Open.
“I may have lost the final, but I am very happy about the way the whole week went. It really makes me feel good about my game.”
Meanwhile, the 17-year-old tournament, South Asia’s only ATP event, was given a three-year extension and will continue till 2016, the organisers announced. — AFP