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Chennai Open Tennis: Wawrinka waltzes into semis as Indian challenge ends

Chennai, Jan 3 : World No.8 Stanislas Wawrinka led a quality singles field into the semi-finals as the Swiss outclassed Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-3, Friday to avenge the quarter-final defeat here in the $450,000 Aircel Chennai Open tennis tournament.


Meanwhile, fifth seeded Vasek Pospisil from Canada, who jumped from 127 to 32 in world rankings in 2013, ended the Indian challenge when he defeated wild card Yuki Bhambri 6-3, 6-3, and set up a semi-final clash with Wawrinka.

Also bowing out was the Indian pair of Sriram Balaji and Ramkumar Ramanathan who went down to Croatians Marin Dragania and Mate Pavic 3-6, 3-6, in the quarter-finals.

In the other semi-final, seventh seeded Frenchman Eduard Roger-Vasselin, who beat Dudi Sela from Israel 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-0, will clash with Spaniard Marcel Granollers, the sixth seed, who upset No.4 Benoit Paire from France 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

Compatriot and World No.24 Benoi Paire, the fourth seed, survived a first set loss to beat Spaniard Marcel Granollers 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Bhambri, the 21-year old from Delhi, ranked 195, looked out of depth against Pospisil who served and returned exceedingly well to outplay the Indian, playing in his first Tour quarter-final match.

An early break of serve in the first set saw the 23-year old Canadian, who reached the quarter-finals after receiving a walk-over from Chinese Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu, take a firm grip on the match. He followed it up with a near-flawless performance to pocket the second in which he broke Bhambri in the first and ninth games.

On his part, Bhambri battled on gamely, but committed far too many errors against an opponent who never took the foot off the pedal. The young Indian looked good in long rallies that punctuated the match, but was just unable to finish them off.

"I knew I had to be at my best against him and I am happy the way I played tonight. Of course, I am excited to reach my fourth tour semi-final," said a modest Pospisil.

Earlier, Wawrinka had few problems in easing past the 95th ranked Bedene who had little say in the proceedings, except early in the second set when he broke the Swiss, but it made little difference to the flow of the match that was decidedly one-sided.

The 28-year old Wawrinka, quarter-finalist in the previous two editions here after winning the title in 2011, showed why he is a top-10 player.

With his trademark one-handed backhand and some great angles, he pulled his opponent side to side while finishing off the rallies at the first opportunity.

There was little that Bedene could do as he was allowed little leeway by the Swiss ace who looks primed to win his second crown here.

On the outside court, Roger-Vasselin, the 29-year old Frenchman ranked 52, did well to wear down a fighting Sela who was lucky to make it this far following the withdrawal of his second round opponent, Mikhail Youzhny, the second seed.

The two battled with a lot of intensity and shared the first two sets before Roger-Vasselin steamrolled the Israeli in the third to run out a deserving winner.

The results (all quarter-finals):

Singles: 1-Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-3, 6-3; 7-Eduard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) bt Dudi Sela (ISR)7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-0; 5-Vasek Pospisil (CAN) bt WC-Yuki Bhambri (IND) 6-3, 6-3; 6-Marcel Granollers (ESP) bt 4-Benoit Paire (FRA) bt 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

Doubles: Marin Draganja (CRO) / Mate Pavic (CRO)bt WC-Sriram Balaji / Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-3, 6-3.

--IANS (Posted on 03-01-2014)

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