Stanislas Wawrinka unleashed a flurry of classy shots at the right moments to beat Michael Berrer 7-6 (5), 6-4 and advance to the semifinals of the USD 400,000 ATP Aircel Chennai Open tennis tournament.
The day’s programme was delayed by nearly four hours due to sharp showers and continuous drizzle, but Swiss No.2 Wawrinka got into stride straightaway to underline his superiority against an opponent who was forever under pressure.
A few moments of impatience and impetuosity notwithstanding, Wawrinka, ranked 21, looked the steadier player, especially on big points, and of course, he could fall back on a big serve when needed.
On the other hand, the 74th ranked Berrer played as well as he was allowed to, but on occasions, displayed remarkable courtcraft to wrongfoot his opponent.
In the first set, Warinka and Berrer traded a break apiece before settling down to play some quality tennis. Games went with serve leading to the tiebreak with Berrer wasting two break points in the 11th as Wawrinka, 24, won four points in a row to go 6-5 ahead.
The 29-year-old German then held serve in the 12th to force the tiebreak where the Swiss was seen at his best with a series of blistering shots to the corners besides sending down a few strong serves to take the set.
The pattern of service games continued in the second set until the seventh game when Wawrinka switched gears to break Berrer for a 4-3 lead. The Swiss found some amazing angles to open up the court and followed up to the net for the putaways.
The next two games went with serve before Warinka shut out Berrer with a brilliant service game to close the match. After the match, Wawrinka said: “Michael (Berrer) is a difficult opponent and I am happy to reach the semifinals. The crowd also helped me a lot.”