Marquee act Tomas Berdych made the quarterfinals of the Aircel Chennai Open with a 6-2, 6-4 debellation of Croatia’s Ivan Dodig on Wednesday.
The World No. 6 toyed with Dodig on centre court, realising a second round victory without having to resort to any special playmaking. A difference in ranking of over 80 places was obvious from the start as he raced to 3-0, inclusive of two breaks, in the first set.
Dodig, ranked 88, got one back in the fourth game as Berdych double-faulted on breakpoint, but that was the underdog’s last wag of the tail.
The 2010 Wimbledon finalist broke Dodig again in the fifth game of the second set and rode it to close out the match in an hour and 27 minutes, the time elapsed a misleading indicator of the competitiveness of the encounter.
Berdych, however, had a different take on the match.
“The result looked easy, but I had to work hard to make it happen,” said the 6’5” winner, who will next meet Slovakia’s Blaz Kavcic, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over American Robert Kendrick in the second round.
Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, the second-seeded doubles pairing, finally gave the crowd something to cheer about as they made a winning start to their campaign.
The Indo-Pak duo dismissed Marcos Daniel and Eduardo Schwank in straight sets, the basis of the win being the usual tactic of Bopanna’s towering serves and Qureshi’s nimbleness upfront.
The Asian pair took the first set, hanging on to the solitary break acquired against Daniel’s serve in the fourth game. The second set was more of a test, a break-less affair that needed a tie-break for resolution. Bopanna and Qureshi surged ahead 3-0 in the ‘breaker and stayed firm to conclude the match 7-3.
The cross-border alliance thus avoided the fate of the third-seeded pair of Dustin Brown and Rogier Wassen, which lost 6-1, 6-2 to Americans Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram.
The fourth seeds, Great Britain’s Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, too bowed out of the tournament following a 7-6, 6-1 loss to the Ratiwatana twins, Sanchai and Sonchat, the 2008 Chennai Open champions and Asia’s answer to the Bryan brothers.
The results: Singles (2nd round): Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Ivan Dodig (Cro) 6-2, 6-4; Blaz Kavcic (Slo) bt Robert Kendrick (US) 6-2, 6-2.
Doubles (1st round): Sanchai Ratiwatana & Sonchat Ratiwatana (Tha) bt Colin Fleming & Ross Hutchins (GBR) 7-6(7), 6-1; Scott Lipsky & Rajeev Ram (US) bt Dustin Brown (Ger) & Rogier Wassen (Ned) 6-1, 6-2; Rohan Bopanna (Ind) & Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) bt Marcos Daniel (Bra) & Eduardo Schwank (Arg) 6-3, 7-6(3).
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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.
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