ATP Tour

Wawrinka in semis with win 300

2014-01-04 11:20
Stanislas Wawrinka (AFP)

Chennai - Top seed Stanislas Wawrinka recorded his 300th victory on the ATP World Tour to advance to the Chennai Open semi-finals with an emphatic win over Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene on Friday.

The Swiss world number eight avenged an embarrassing loss to Bedene at the same stage in the $450,000 event last year by winning 6-2, 6-1 on the centre court at the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium.

Wawrinka joined Roger Federer, Marc Rosset and Jakob Hlasek as the only Swiss players to secure 300 wins on the circuit and stayed on course for an early title in the new year.

"I knew before the match that I was approaching this mark, but that did not put me under any pressure," the top seed said. "If I had not got to 300 this week, I would have got it next week.

"I was just focused on playing well and I think I did that. To win in an hour against a good player is not easy. I am happy with my game, I think I am serving and returning well."

Wawrinka's semi-final opponent will be Canadian fifth seed Vasek Pospisil, who brushed aside Indian wildcard Yuki Bhambri 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 10 minutes.

"Wawrinka is a top 10 player, so obviously I will have my hands full," the 23-year-old Pospisil, ranked 32nd in the world, said of Saturday's semi-final.

"I will need to play my best tennis if I have to give myself a chance to win. Hopefully I will come out serving as well as I have done so far."

The other semi-final will feature sixth seed Marcel Granollers of Spain against the seventh-seeded Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Granollers came through a bruising final set to stun fourth seed Benoit Paire of France 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) in two hours and 13 minutes of absorbing tennis.

The Spaniard was trailing 1-5 in the decider when he reeled off four games in a row to make it 5-5 before both players exchanged a break each to take the match into the tie-breaker.

"It was very hot and humid, so I decided to just hang in there and hit back all the balls that came my way," a relieved Granollers said. "The important thing now is to rest and recover quickly for tomorrow's semi-final."

Seventh seed Roger-Vasselin fought off a lapse in concentration mid-way through the match to oust Dudi Sela of Israel 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 6-0 on an outside court.

The Frenchman struggled to hold serve in the second set but then recovered to blank Sela in the decider and avenge a three-set loss in their only other meeting in Johannesburg in 2011.

"There was some worry in this match but it feels great to be in the semi-finals," the 52nd-ranked Roger-Vasselin said. "It really feels good at the start of the year.

"I trained well in the off-season, but it is one thing to play well in practice and do equally well in a match situation."

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