Wawrinka Dominates Rublev In Chennai
Three-time champion into quarter-finals
Top seed Stan Wawrinka defeated youngster Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday at the Aircel Chennai Open. The Swiss moved past the 18-year-old Russian wild card in just under one hour to improve to 20-4 in Chennai. He is the two-time defending champion in the Indian metropolis and also took home the 2011 singles title.
The No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings was rock-solid on serve, striking six aces and converting over 80 per cent of points on both first and second deliveries. Wawrinka was equally menacing on the return, breaking Rublev three times on nine opportunities in the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.
Next up for Wawrinka is fifth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who eliminated Croatian qualifier Ante Pavic 7-6(5), 6-1.
The 26-year-old Pavic, ranked No. 449 started strongly against the No. 27 Garcia-Lopez. The 32-year-old Spaniard was pushed to the limit by the underdog before sneaking off with the set in a tie-break after an hour.
Energized by the narrow escape, the 2005 Chennai semi-finalist raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set and closed on win on his first match point. In the quarter-finals, Garcia-Lopez will aim for a fourth win in 10 attempts against Wawrinka.
Also victorious was eighth seed Borna Coric, who eliminated American Austin Krajicek 6-2, 7-5 in 90 minutes. The Croatian broke Krajicek three times (3/10) and saved the lone break point faced to secure his third match win in Chennai and move into the final eight for the first time in India. He is slated to meet fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the next round.
“I like the conditions here, so that’s why I enjoy coming back here every year” said Bautista Agut, who improved to 7-3 in Chennai by beating John Millman 6-4, 6-1. “I felt the ball really well tonight.”
The Spaniard finished runner-up in Chennai in 2013, and holds a 2-0 lead in the FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry against Coric.