Fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka suffered a shock 6-2, 7-6(6) defeat at the hands of Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene in the quarterfinals of the Aircel Chennai Open on Friday.
The Swiss was hardly in control of the contest, which lasted 91 minutes, as inconsistent ground strokes and a poor first service contributed to his downfall in the opening set.
After the first two games witnessed breaks of serve, the fifth game saw an irate Wawrinka argue with the chair umpire after a couple of line-calls, one of them a foot fault, went against him.
The Swiss seemed to lose focus after that incident. Despite an intervention by the tournament supervisor Carlos Sanchez to address his concerns, Wawrinka capitulated in stunning fashion to lose four games in a row and with it the set, 6-2.
The second set was characterised by long rallies, which were mostly settled by an error on either side. While Wawrinka made a significant improvement to his game, world No. 86 Bedene held his nerve to hold serve consistently.
The Slovenian faced his biggest challenge in the sixth game of the set when he served out, saving two break points in a long game. The set also saw a big jump in the players’ first serve percentage as it went into a tie-break.
Bedene earned a couple of mini-breaks — 3-2 and 5-4 — but the opportunities were missed with a double fault and a forehand which went long.
Wawrinka, however, was struggling to keep errors out of his game and despite serving an ace at 5-6 and saving a match point, he gave the Slovenian another chance at 6-7.
Bedene didn’t miss this one, engaging the Swiss in another long rally and Wawrinka obliged by hitting a forehand long. Speaking after the loss, the fourth seed said he was beaten by a better player and not because of the first set controversy.