Sat, Jan 07, 2012 - Page 20 News List

TENNIS: Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun ousted from the Chennai Open

AFP, CHENNAI, INDIA

Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun hits a return to Yuichi Sugita of Japan during their second-round match at the Chennai Open in Chennai, India, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Top seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia and No. 2 seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain eased into the quarter-finals of the ATP’s Chennai Open on Thursday, while Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun crashed out.

Almagro, who faces a possible semi-final against big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, will take on qualifier Yuichi Sugita of Japan in the quarter-final.

Sugita, a winner over eighth seed Olivier Rochus of Belgium in the first round, needed a fifth match point to defeat Lu 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 in 2 hours, 21 minutes.

World No. 9 Tipsarevic outplayed Indian wild-card Yuki Bhambri 6-1, 6-3 in an hour on the center court of the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium.

The 10th ranked Almagro had an even easier passage into the last eight after Steve Darcis of Belgium withdrew from their second-round match with a shoulder injury.

Tipsarevic, a semi-finalist in the last two editions in Chennai, played with the kind of authority that helped the Serb break into the top 10 for the first time last year.

He handed the 19-year-old Bhambri a tennis lesson with three breaks in the opening set and one more in the second to easily wrap up the match.

“It was good start to the season, hope I can continue like that,” said Tipsarevic, who received a bye in the first round. “I am not looking too far ahead, just want to take it one match at a time.”

Tipsarevic plays Belgian wild-card David Goffin in the quarter-finals.

The 21-year-old Goffin, who upset seventh seed compatriot Xavier Malisse in the first round, came from behind to knock out Andreas Beck of Germany 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

“I am happy and confident of playing in the quarter-finals,” Goffin said. “I have nothing to lose. I will just go out there and enjoy myself.”

Almagro, who got a first-round bye, said he was disappointed at having to wait one more day for his first singles match of the season.

“I am happy to make the quarter-finals, but I would have preferred to get there by playing a match,” the Spaniard said after learning of Darcis’ injury. “I am more comfortable on clay, so I was very keen to play on hard courts. That’s why I came to Chennai for the first time. I have had good practice for the past few days, but there is nothing like playing a match. Hopefully I will have a good quarter-final.”

In other quarter-finals, defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka plays Go Soeda of Japan and Raonic meets Israeli Dudi Sela.

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