Wawrinka survives lucky loser to make Chennai 8
Chennai: Stanislas Wawrinka clawed back from a set down to begin the defense of his Chennai Open title with a win on Wednesday.
Wawrinka, seeded third, played for nearly two-and-a-half hours to beat French lucky loser Edouard Roger-Vasselin 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in his first match of the year.
The Swiss set up a quarterfinal against Japanese qualifier Go Soeda, who beat fifth-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia 7-6 (6), 6-3 in the second round.
"It is never easy playing the first match of the season. There is always pressure," Wawrinka said. "I am happy that I won, happy that I found all the solutions. I played better as the match progressed."
Roger-Vasselin replaced injured Indian Somdev Devvarman in the main draw and almost made his first ATP quarterfinals. He was up a break in the final set but Wawrinka broke back in the 10th and lifted his game to clinch the thriller.
Fourth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada thumped Victor Hanescu of Romania 6-1, 6-4, finishing with his ninth ace.
In the quarterfinals, Raonic will take on Dudi Sela of Israel, who overcame Benoit Paire of France 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.