Sixth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic stormed into the quarterfinals of the Aircel Chennai Open with a 6-2, 7-6(3) win over qualifier Alexandre Kudryavtsev at the SDAT Tennis Stadium on Thursday.
The Serbian did not face a break point in the entire match, while converting three of the five he claimed on the Russian's serve. Tipsarevic took the first set courtesy of breaks in the fourth and eighth game, but had to negotiate a tie-breaker in the second as Kudryavtsev gained control on his shots.
The Russian played 30 minutes of attractive, swinging tennis in the second set, but erred on the third point of the tie-breaker, his double-handed backhand lurching beyond the baseline to hand Tipsarevic a mini-break. Things progressed on serve thereafter and that was the end of that, 7-3 to the Serb in the 'breaker, as another Kudryavtsev backhand flew long.
“I will play either (Alejandro) Falla or (Kei) Nishikori in the quarterfinal. Both of them are dangerous baseline players so I have my task cut out,” said Tipsarevic later.
Two hours later, Nishikori booked his berth in the last eight, extending his head to head record against Colombian southpaw Falla to 3-0.
Falla won the first set and was up two breaks in the second, when Nishikori ran off nine straight games. The Japanese, who had accounted for defending champion Marin Cilic in the first round, annexed the second set and took the contest into a decider, which began bizarrely.
An apparent umpiring error helped Nishikori get a break first up in the third set, following which a sulking Falla showed little inclination to put up a fight.
Nishikori finally won 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and three minutes.
Robin Haase, the eighth seed, also made the quarterfinals after rallying to win against Japan's Yuichi Sugita. Haase surrendered his serve in the third game of the first set, but broke back immediately to get back on track.
A careless ninth game saw the Dutchman down another break (4-5) and Sugita made no mistake in serving out the set 6-4.
Tightening the game
In the second set, Haase tightened his game, cut down on errors and waited for Sugita to crack, which the Japanese did in the eighth game, the solitary break sufficing for the eighth seed to restore parity in the match.
With the players deadlocked on a set apiece, nothing appeared to disturb the state of stagnation as breaks were exchanged to begin the decider.
Fortunately for Haase, a flurry of errors from Sugita gifted him the extra break in the seventh game, and the Dutchman was too professional to have squandered it from there.
In doubles, the Croatian pair of Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig entered the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Thailand's Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana.
Singles: Second round: Janko Tipsarevic (Srb) bt Alexandre Kudryatvsev (Rus) 6-2, 7-6(3); Robin Haase (Ned) bt Yuichi Sugita (Jpn) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Alejandro Falla (Col) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Doubles: Quarterfinals: Marin Cilic & Ivan Dodig (Cro) bt Sanchai & Sonchat Ratiwatana (Tha) 6-2, 6-4 .