Chennai - World No 9 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia opened his campaign in the ATP Chennai Open on Wednesday with an emphatic win that lifted him into the quarter-finals.
Tipsarevic, seeded second behind world No 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in the $430 000 season opener, brushed aside Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 6-3 in a second-round match.
Tipsarevic, who lost to Canadian Milos Raonic in last year's final, was delighted at winning his first match in the tournament after being given a bye in the first round.
"It is never easy to win the first match, but I think I played reasonably well to win in straight sets," said the 28-year-old Serb.
"I did not drop my serve and took advantage of the unforced errors my opponent made, especially in the first set.
"This is my fifth visit to Chennai and I hope I can win the title for the first time this year. I know other players are already looking at the Australian Open, but I look at it differently.
"If I win in Chennai, it will be a real morale booster for Australia," said Tipsarevic, who beat US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week.
The Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam, starts in Melbourne on January 14.
Tipsarevic next plays eighth seed Go Soeda of Japan, who overcame a spirited challenge from Indian qualifier Prakash Amritraj before winning 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 30 minutes.
Soeda, a semi-finalist last year after making the main draw as a lucky loser from the qualifying round, said he was fortunate to be still afloat in the tournament.
"I did not play very well today and made many mistakes from the baseline," said Soeda, Japan's number two player after Kei Nishikori.
"I will have to play better if I am to compete against a strong player like Tipsarevic."
Sixth seed Robin Haase of the Netherlands was knocked out in the second round by Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia, losing 7-5, 6-3.
Bedene plays the winner of Wednesday's last singles match between fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany in the quarter-finals.
Berdych and third seed Marin Cilic of Croatia, handed byes in the first round along with Tipsarevic and Wawrinka, will join the action on Thursday.
Berdych meets Indian wildcard Somdev Devvarman, while Cilic takes on Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine.
Results from the ATP Chennai Open on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Go Soeda (JPN x8) bt Prakash Amritraj (IND) 7-6 (7/2), 3-6, 6-4
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt Robin Haase (NED x6) 7-5, 6-3
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB x2) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 6-2, 6-3
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x4) bt Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 6-4, 6-3