Chennai: Second seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia lived dangerously before prevailing over Slovakia's Aljaz Bedene 4-6 6-2 6-2 to enter the final of the Aircel ATP Chennai Open Tennis Tournament here on Saturday. In the match that lasted 125 minutes, the 23-year-old Bedene kept up the momentum of his Friday's upset win over fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka.
He rattled Tipsarevic with excellent court coverage and made some unbelievable returns. However, Bedene failed to convert his efforts into success when it came to breaking games. In the ninth game, Bedene enjoyed success as he resorted to playing long rallies. Not tuned to the situation, Tipsarevic was broken, and Bedene held his own serve for the set.
In the second, the plan to move up front paid off for Tipsarevic as Bedene failed to cross the net with a forehand from the edge of the right line of the court. Making full use of the unforced errors committed by Bedene, Tipsarevic led all the way to win the second set 6-4.
In the decider, Bedene was stretched and nothing was going in his favour. He often, though, came up with emphatic winners, particularly with his forehand. Tipsarevic soon rose to a 3-0 lead as Bedene wilted under pressure.
However, Bedene, who managed to reduce the margin to 2-4, almost broke Tipsarevic in the seventh game. In the eighth, Bedene yielded two match points and then made an ordinary return to concede the match.
In the other semi-final, World No. 80 Roberto Agut played the match of his career to snatch a win against fifth seeded Benoit Paire of France 3-6 6-1 6-4 in 115 minutes.
Considered to be a dark horse of the tournament, Agut, who has more proven record of having to get the best of World No. 6 and top seed Thomas Berdych in a marathon 135 minutes duel last night to make the semi-final, showed his class against a higher-ranked Paire (World No. 47) in the vital ninth game.
Agut was not at all overawed as he took to his service game where he became a clear winner. The rivals traded breaks in the first two games and both were cautious in their approach but Agut, who wanted to keep the ball in play by his tight game, forced Paire to make mistakes.
With the rivals sharing eight games, Paire was seen to be nervous in the vital ninth game. Holding Agut in to a long rally, Paire brought his favourite effective double handed back hand in to play but he could not succeeded as Agut slowed down the pace and also converted returns with ease.
Agut gained two points to break Paire and then held his own to making his first ever career tour title clash.