Chennai: Slovenian Aljaz Bedene’s upset win over Feliciano Lopez in the second round of the Chennai Open here on Thursday would have sent British tennis fans into a tizzy. Bedene has been living in Britain and is hoping to be granted citizenship this week in a bid to represent his adopted country in the Davis Cup.
The stunning victory over the world no.14 will only raise the hopes of the nine time Davis Cup champions who are on the lookout for a singles player to bolster the Andy Murray-led team in their bid to regain the coveted trophy they last won in 1936. The 25-year-old Bedene is on a sensational run here. Ranked 156, Bedene, who had lost to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals last year, had to work his way through the qualifiers this time.
Carrying that momentum, he punched above his weight on Thursday.The Slovenian underdog made it look so easy against the second-seeded Spaniard who grew frustrated as the match wore on. His vivid agony and loud cries made only matters worse.“I was upset because I wanted to win. I had a great year and my expectations were higher. My game was not working and that made me angry,” said Lopez, one of the players who stunned Rafael Nadal last year.
Lopez said he was sick last week but didn’t want to give that as an excuse.“I was almost 100 percent ready to play today,” said Lopez. Bedene set the tone for the match with three stunning aces in the second game of the first set.In the next, Lopez was broken and it was enough for Bedene to take the first set much to the excitement of crowd who was rooting for the underdog. After losing his first service game in the second, Lopez fought hard to stay in the match, but his error-prone backhand didn’t help his cause.