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Bedene ousts Wawrinka

- Tipsarevic makes semis; Cilic bows out

Chennai: Defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland and two-time champion Marin Cilic of Croatia bowed out of the Chennai Open, here on Friday. In another Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, world No. 9, scored a clinical 6-2, 6-4 win over Go Soeda to make the semi-finals.

Fifth seed Benoit Paire of France handed third seed Cilic a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 defeat in the quarter final, which lasted for an hour and 54 minutes.

Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene created the biggest upset, defeating world No. 17 and fourth seed Wawrinka 6-2, 7-6 (6). Bedene’s impressive victory came in one hour and 31 minutes.

After dropping serve in the very first game of the match, Wawrinka broke immediately. But Bedene’s ploy to engage the Swiss in long rallies seemed to tire his opponent. Bedene’s forehand passing shots stood out as he broke Wawrinka in the fifth and seventh games to race away with the opening set. The second set was fought fiercely and was stretched to the tie-breaker in which Bedene held his nerves to prevail over Wawrinka.

The scores were 6-6 in the tie-breaker, when Bedene’s accuracy with the first serve paid off as he reeled off points in a jiffy to oust Wawrinka.

In the other match, Paire and Cilic traded early breaks in the first set but the Frenchman broke the Croat for a 4-3 lead and then wrapped up the set 6-4.

In the second set, Cilic fought back amazingly as he conceded just one game and drew parity. Paire had no answers for his booming forehands. The Croat led 2-1 and then broke Paire in the fourth and sixth games to take the match to the decider.

Cilic went in the decider with momentum and broke Paire in the first game. But the advantage was lost when he dropped his serve in the fourth game.The scores were 5-5 and with Paire holding serve in the 11th game to lead 6-5. Cilic struggled to control his unforced errors and Paire cashed in on the two break chances to walk out triumphant.

Tipsarevic consistently served well and played aggressively from the beginning of the match. Tipsarevic, who had beaten Soeda in the semi-finals last year, was broken in the second game of first set, but the Serb won three successive breaks — third, fifth and seventh — to wrap up the set in 28 minutes.

In the second set, Go Soeda dished out a better performance, mixing caution and aggression but it was not enough to break Tipsarevic.

After the rivals broke each other in the third and fourth games, Tipsarevic broke Soeda in the seventh to eventually win the set and the match with an ace.

On Thursday, the top seeded Indo-Canadian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Daniel Nestor were ousted after suffering a defeat at the hands of the unseeded Russian-American pair of Raveen Klaasen and Nicholas Monroe in the doubles quarter final. Bhupathi-Nestor lost 4-6, 5-7 in 75 minutes.

Klaasen and Monroe, who won the first set convincingly, combined well in the second to wipe a 0-3 deficit and then went on to win the match.

With both Bhupathi and Leander Paes having made their exits with their respective partners, Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram remain the only Indian prospects.