Chennai: Stan Wawrinka, who clinched the title here last year without dropping a set, made it seven wins on the trot on Friday as he made short work of Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in the quarterfinal of the 20th edition of the Chennai Open. The Swiss top seed, who inflicted 6-2, 7-6(4) drubbing on the big serving southpaw in an hour and 25 minutes, will face young David Goffin in the semis. The fourth-seeded Belgian, world no.22, also came through a convincing 7-5, 6-2 win over Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer.
Earlier, Aljaz Bedene became only the third qualifier in the 20-year history of the tournament to make it to the semi-finals when he rallied from a set down to edge past Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. The two players Go Soeda (2012) and Kristian Pless (2001) who had achieved the feat before however failed to progress. Bedene is determined to go all the way. “This is my first tournament after an injury lay-off. Though I have been working really hard and I didn’t expect to play in the semifinals. I am pleased with what I have achieved here,” said Bedene who spent an hour in physio’s room after he upset second-seeded Feliciano Lopez on Thursday.
Playing his sixth match of the week, Bedene showed no signs of fatigue in the three-setter against Garcia-Lopez. Bedene will now run into third seed Roberto Bautista Agut. Agut saved a set point before quelling the challenge of Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu 7-6(7), 6-4. The scorecard might suggest a straight sets win, but Agut had to play out of his skin to get past the sixth-seeded Asian who was a bundle of energy.
Both players served well for the first six games as neither could force a break. It was Lu who drew first blood with a break in the seventh game to go 4-3 up. Serving for the set, Lu squandered his advantage at 5-4 and 40-30 and another set point went down the drain in the tie-breaker....