Top-seeded Berdych knocked out of Chennai Open
Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut got the better of Berdych 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in the quarter-finals.
Chennai: Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain upset top-seeded Tomas Berdych 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Chennai Open, and two other favourites were also eliminated. Third-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia lost 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to Benoit Paire of France while fourth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland was beaten 6-2, 7-6 (6) to unseeded Slovakian player Aljaz Bedene.
Second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic was the only member of the top four to reach the semi-finals as he beat No. 8 Go Soeda of Japan 6-2, 6-4. On Saturday, Bautista-Agut will play Paire while Tipsarevic will take on Bedene.
In beating the sixth-ranked Berdych, No. 80 Bautista-Agut earned his first win against a top-10 player. He said he "was happy to have beaten a player like Berdych" and that all his "hard work had paid off."
Berdych was disappointed with his own performance but praised his opponent. "This was not one of my best performances and he played very well. ... These days it is not just the top four, but the other players as well against whom you need to play your best game," Berdych said. "I know ahead of the Australian Open I have played only two matches and will have to adjust to the time difference there, but I will play my best."
Earlier, Paire caused his own upset by defeating two-time champion Cilic. The players traded breaks early in the first set before Paire broke the Croat again for a 4-3 lead and wrapped up the first set in 40 minutes. Cilic used his strong forehand to dominate the second, but Paire broke in the 12th game of the third to seal the win.
"I was playing him for the first time," Cilic said. "I had to change my game but he came back strongly in the last eight or nine games."
Tipsarevic reached his third straight semi-final in Chennai with his win over Soeda. "It was tougher than the scoreline suggests," Tipsarevic said. "But I have been playing well of late and told myself if I focus on my game and hold my service, it would be easier."