Wawrinka to Face Malisse in Chennai Open Final

Wawrinka to Face Malisse in Chennai Open Final
Last year finalist and third seeded Stanislaus Wawrinka of Switzerland stunned top seed and world number six Tomas Berdych of Cezch Republic here today to set up a title clash against seventh seed Xavier Malisse of Switzerland in the ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament.

While Wawrinka easily overcame Berdych 6-4 6-1 in the second semi-final, 2007 champion Malisse had to sweat it out for 97 minutes to oust sixth seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 3-6 6-3 6-2 in the first last four match of the USD 450,00 event at the Nungambakkam Tennis stadium.

Beredych, billed to start the new season with a title win here, did not play to his potential and favourite tag and succumbed to the pressures brought about by a consistent Wawrinka.

Wawrinka, who decided to skip this event earlier and then sought a wild card, played a marvellous game bringing in variety and winning each of the vital points throughout the match.

Wawrinka's decision to slow down the pace on Beredych's serves and then steadily upped the pace to leave the Cezch in two minds was noteworthy.

Initially, the match looked to be evenly balanced but once Wawrinka broke Beredych in the fifth game of the first set, the Swiss raised his game to greater levels.

Wawrinka's first serve percentage was consistent and he sent out four aces in the first set before winning the set with the single break of serve.

Wawrinka raise his game a level higher in the second set and broke his opponent twice to wrap up the match.

Earlier in the day, former champion Malisse fought his way into the final with a come-from-behind win over Tipsarevic.

Malissse was slow to start with as Tipsarevic, who made it to the last four stage without much ado, broke the Belgian as early as in the second game to pocket the first set with ease in 28 minutes.

Down by a set, Malisse got his act together soon and broke Tipsarevic in the second game of the second set only to squander the advantage in the next game.

But a determined Malisse got the break back in the eighth game to race to a 5-3 lead and then held on to his serve to level the scores.

In the decider, last year's semi-finalist Tipsarevic was no match for the world number 60, Malisee who broke the Serbian twice to march into tomorrow's summit clash.

"I could not do much in the first set as Janko was playing well. He was sending down aces and made good back hand down the line shots. I was not able to find the solution," Malisse said after the win.

"In the second set, I was quite aggressive and my forehand worked well and I was successful when I took some risks. I served well and somehow turned around the table," he added.

Asked about his clash against Berdych in tomorrow's title clash, Malisse said, "I have beaten him last summer on the tour. I have always been saying that he is one of the strong players but I will play to my strength to win the title. I have been working hard and I am looking forwarded to tomorrow's final."

Wawrinka, on the other hand, said he was happy to have won against Beredych and enter the final in the beginning of the season.

"I have played my best game today against Beredych. I was focused on my level of play, served well through the match and tried to be aggressive. Today's win was important to me."

"A positive result tomorrow in the final is going to be good for me in the season. I was getting better after each match. So, I can look forward to winning the title tomorrow".
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