Wawrinka enters semis

Wawrinka enters semis

Tennis: Chennai Open: Tipsarevic battles past Bakker to set up clash with holder Cilic

Wawrinka enters semis

On the charge: Sanam Singh (left) and Somdev Devvarman celebrate their quarterfinal victory on Thursday night. PTI

It was worth the wait for the present few who waited patiently for the play to resume as Stanislas Wawrinka and Michael Berrer dished out an entertaining game of tennis that lasted close to two hours. Wawrinka, seeded third, was made to toil hard before emerging a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 winner against seventh-seeded German Berrer and become the first player to move into the semifinals of the $400,000 ATP event here at the Nungabakkam Tennis stadium on Friday.

 On Saturday, the Swiss will meet Israel’s Dudi Sela, the fifth seed here, for a place in the final. Sela defeated Slovakian Lukas Lacko 7-6 (7-3), 7-5. “I’m really happy to get to a semifinal in my first week of the year. I think I played against Sela, but only in the juniors, so in a sense it will be a new match for me,” said Wawrinka after the match.

 In the other quarterfinal, Janko Tipsarevic struggled past Netherland’s Thiemo de Bakker 7-5, 7-5. The fourth-seeded Serbian will clash with defending champion and second-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic, who, down 1-4 in the first set, rallied to beat Columbian Santiago Giraldo 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

 The first set was a see saw battle where neither player allowed the other to get on top, and even if one did, it was quickly evened out. Wawrinka struggled with his serves in the opening set, but Berrer failed to encash it committing too many unforced errors. Though Wawrinka earned the first break point in the sixth game, it was Berrer who had the chance to go ahead in the fifth game when he held two break points. Wawrinka, however, nullified the advantage winning four points in a row – he drew Berrer close to the net and essayed an overhead smash to save a break point, an ace followed to bring the game to deuce before a service winner and a forehand error by the German helped him hold the serve.

After surviving the mini scare, the 24-year-old surged ahead promptly breaking Berrer in the sixth game. The German’s chipped drops failed to meet the desired results and the two subsequent unforced errors helped Wawrinka take a handy 4-2 lead. Berrer, however, hit back immediately to break his rival in the next game and then held the next to push the set to tie-breaker, which Wawrinka clinched to go a set up.

The second set went by serves till the sixth game, but Wawrinka was clearly making his opponent struggle. At 3-3 and 30-40 on Berrer’s serve, Wawrinka came up with a forehand passing shot to open up a 4-3 lead after which he just had to hold his serves to advance to the next round.  

 “It’s a really good first tournament of the year for me so far. To win in straight sets in a quarterfinal is great. Today I played a good tie-break in the first set and I managed to hold on in the second set. To win three matches in straight sets is an ideal way to go,” Wawrinka remarked.

Singles, quarterfinals: 3-Stanislas Wawrinka (Sui) bt 7-Michael Berrer (Ger) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4; 5-Dudi Sela (Isr) bt Lukas Lacko (Slo) 7-6 (7-3), 7-5; 4-Janko Tipsarevic (Ser) bt Thiemo de Bakker (Ned) 7-5, 7-5; 2-Marin Cilic (Cro) bt Santiago Giraldo (Col) 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.