Chennai: Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut will play Danill Medvedev of Russia in the final of the Chennai Open here on Sunday. Agut trounced Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-3 while the Russian edged out Israeli Dudi Sela 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2.
Agut, 28, had two break points in the fourth game of the first set but Paire, known for his flamboyance on the court, got out of the hole with three aces on the trot.
The Spaniard, however, succeeded in breaking his opponent in the eighth game to take the set in less than half an hour. A water bottle bore the brunt of Paire’s ire as he flung it to the ground.
The start of the second set was not so auspicious either for the Frenchman as Agut started off with double breaks to storm to a 4-0 lead. Agut didn’t have to do much because his opponent appeared hell bent on logging unforced errors.
Even though Paire had fallen too far behind, the crowd cheered him on, primarily for his antics. The Frenchman broke serve in the sixth but duly dropped his in the ninth to hand the match to Agut on a platter.
“I spent a lot of time on the court against Youzhny yesterday. It gave me a lot of confidence for today’s match. It helped me during difficult situations,” Agut said.
Earlier, the Medvedev-Sela match was tighter, as the former had to spend a little more than two hours to book his spot in the final. As there was not much difference between the two in terms of ranking with the Russian at 99 and the Israeli three spots higher, a close match was on the cards. The script remained intact and Medvedev, who is 11 years younger than his opponent, had the last laugh.
At 30-40 in the seventh game of the first set, Sela was on a break point. A beautiful lob by the Israeli caught the Russian unawares near the net. His elegant single-handed backhand was at its lethal best. Having broken serve to lead 4-3, Sela faced no problem to wrap up the set 6-4.
In the second, the 20-year-old Medvedev came up with some blazing cross-court and down the line forehand winners. Both players traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games. In the ninth game the lack of experience showed as the Russian blew a 40-0 lead to drop serve with his poor shot selection.
Sela looked on course to the final with a match point in the very next game but Medvedev produced masterful ground strokes to force a tie-breaker. The Russian was unstoppable in the tie-breaker as well as the decider. Medvedev said: “I can’t describe the feeling. I’m exhausted but super happy.”