Third seed Cilic in Chennai Open semis

January 9th, 2009 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 9 (IANS) Third seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia shrugged off a wayward second set to beat seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 en route to the semi-finals of the $450,000 ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament here Friday.In the semi-finals Saturday, the 27th ranked Cilic will face eighth seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain who came through 7-6, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours against Czech wild card Lukas Dlouhy.

Meanwhile, fifth seeded Rainer Scheuttler needed all his experience to get past fellow-German and doubles partner Bjorn Phau 6-2, 7-5 to qualify for the semi-finals.

The towering Cilic, 20, after winning a tight, 50-minute first set on a break of serve in the third game,however, turned erratic in the second.

With his first serve deserting him, Cilic was at his erratic worst and Tipsarevic made the best of the offerings for three breaks in the second, fourth and sixth games to take the set at 6-0.

Tipsarevic, who stretched Roger Federer to five sets at the 2008 Australian Open, had to contend with a blistered right middle finger and took a medical break in the second set when leading 4-0.

The 24-year-old Tipsarevic showed plenty of courage and court craft to stay in contention with a series of fine winners, often finding the lines with well-angled placements.

The third set went on serve until the ninth game when Cilic broke for a decisive 5-4 lead. The Croatian looked a bit more at ease with himself as he got his serve going.

In fact, Tipsarevic came under increasing pressure as Cilic raised his game. He saved three break points in the fifth before dropping serve in the crucial ninth to lose the match.

Schuettler, the 32-year old Wimbledon semi-finalist and ranked No.33, was in danger of losing the second set that saw the players trading two breaks apiece.

Down 4-5, Schuettler broke the 29-year old Phau to level and then went in front on serve for 6-5. In the 12th, Schuettler came up with some fine returns for yet another break of serve to wrap up the match in 98 minutes.

Reflecting on the match, Schuettler said: “I had a difficult second set when I was down by two breaks. It is difficult to play Phau as we are good friends, play doubles together and in fact, we practiced this morning. But my game improved and I am happy to have won.”

The results:
Singles (quarter-finals): Marin Cilic (CRO) bt Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) 6-4, 0-6, 6-4; Rainer Schuettler (GER) bt Bjorn Phau (GER) 6-2, 7-5; Marcel Granollers (ESP) bt Lukas Dlouhy (CZE) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

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