Bhupathi-Bopanna make it to semis with straight-set win

Chennai: Top seeded Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna survived a scare from unseeded duo of Swiss Stanislaus Wawrinka and Andreas Beck of Germany to storm into the doubles semifinal of the Chennai Open on Thursday.

The Indian pair clinched the match with a 6-4,7-6 (3)scoreline in only 74 minutes. The pair combined well and co-ordinated with an improved approach compared to their yesterday`s match against Xavier Malisse and Ken Skupski.

Despite their top seed billing, the Indian pair was under pressure in the beginning of the match. Southpaw Beck and Wawrinka, the defending singles champion, who booked his singles quarterfinal berth were constantly attacking Bhupathi.

Midway in the first set, Bhupathi was found wanting as the rivals were gaining points at will sending winners converting the third ball after Bhupathi served and took position at the back court.

More often than not, Bopanna failed miserably with his returns. The proceedings looked to be on even keel but two mistakes by Bopanna helped the rivals to gain the advantage and they were broken in the eighth game.

However, it was question of time as Bhupathi, the more experienced of the three on the courts took little time to assess the situation and tightened the grips, which helped the hosts duo to broke back Wawrinka`s service game to 4-5.

With Bopanna getting in to his usual rhythm of serve and volley game, the Indians levelled the score and then Bhupathi made a backhand error and Bopanna returned long twice from Beck`s serves.

Thus, the visitors went on to lead the set 6-5 but Bopanna converted a backhand volley to level the score 6-6.

In the tie-break, the Indians led 3-1 and 4-2. After Wawrinka converted a forehand winner to 3-4, Bopanna upped his service game and gained three points in a row attacking Wawrinka at the left side of the court.


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