The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhupathi-Woodbridge duo moves into quarters
- CHENNAI OPEN l Amritraj cousins go down; Srichaphan advances

Chennai: The top seeded Indo-Australian duo of Mahesh Bhupathi and Todd Woodbridge came from behind to defeat wild cards Justin Gimelstob of the US and Mark Philippoussis of Australia 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to move into the quarter finals of the Chennai Open on Wednesday.

Bhupathi-Woodbridge will now meet fourth-seeded Germans Karsten Braasch and Rainer Schuettler.

Earlier, the German pair defeated a fighting Prakash Amritraj and Stephen Amritraj 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in their first-round match at the centre court.

Thai sensation Paradorn Srichaphan quelled a late charge from John Van Lottum of The Netherlands 6-2, 6-4 to advance into the singles quarter finals along with Sargis Sargsian of Armenia and qualifier Tomas Behrend of Germany.

In the doubles, the fourth seeded Czech pair of Frantisek Cermak and Leos Friedl breezed past the unseeded combine of Guillermo Canas and Martin Garcia of Argentina 6-3, 6-3 to become the first to book their berth in the semi-finals.

Sargsian, ranked 100 in the world, caused an upset, defeating eighth seeded Albert Montanes 6-4, 6-3 while Behrend fought back to oust another better ranked Spaniard Albert Portas 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 in their second-round matches.

In the late night match, Srichaphan, seeded two, had to strain every nerve before overcoming Lottum. After breaking the Dutch in the first and third game, Srichaphan allowed himself to be broken in the fourth game. But, he kept his cool and played some big shots to break Lottum in the sixth game before taking the set.

But Lottum gave a good fight in the second set with the games going on serve. Srichaphan, the runner up last year, held three break points in the fifth game, but the Dutch rallied splendidly to hold his serve.

He found the vital break in the ninth game and that was enough for him to take the match.

Lottum led 40-15, but a series of errors by him from then on saw Srichaphan pouncing on the opportunity to break his rival. He took the match in style, coming up with a deep forehand winner and serve in the next time.

Prakash-Stephen out

Earlier, Behrend and Sargsian were the first ones to progress to the quarter finals. Prakash and Stephen, sons of Vijay and Anand Amritraj, respectively, playing their first-ever doubles match in India lost to Braasch and Schuettler of Germany.

Though they lost the match after putting up a good fight, Prakash and Stephen earned the good will of the crowd as they came up with superb service returns and played a few sure winners in their counter attack.

The highlight of the day’s proceedings was the match in which Behrend showed grit and determination to wipe out a three game deficit for a tie-break first set win and then humiliating Albert Portas in the second for a deserving win.

Sargsian had little difficulty in disposing off Albert Montanes of Spain in another match.

Behrend was bogged down by a string error prone games and allowed Portas go up 5-2. However, he was able to break the ice in the eighth game. Behrend began serving well and his forehands were too good for his rival.

Into the tie-break, Behrend built a solid 5-0 lead. However, Portas could not stand the hard hit returns of Behrend and lost the first set.

In the second, Behrend rose to a 3-0 lead and this put the Spaniard under tremendous pressure.

However, Portas tried to change the scheme of things by slowing down the pace, but Behrend, scored at will.

Behrend now meets fourth-seeded Juan Ignacio Chela of Spain who moved into the quarter final by default as Zeljko Krajan of Croatia conceded the match in the decider due to muscle pull in right hip.

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