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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Tennis

Tipsarevic to keep Agut company in the final
Sukhwant Basra, National Sports Editor, Hindustan Times
Chennai, January 06, 2013
First Published: 00:15 IST(6/1/2013)
Last Updated: 01:42 IST(6/1/2013)
Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia in action against Slovenian Aljaz Beden in their semifinal match at the ATP Chennai Open 2013 in Chennai. PTI/R Senthil Kumar

Somdev Devvarman needs to sit down and have a chat with Janko Tipsarevic. The 28-year-old Serbian was having a torrid time against unheralded Alijaz Bedene who was belting the ball from corner to corner in the first set as the world number nine scampered about retrieving. That set slipped away 4-6.

Then, Tipsarevic "stepped in closer to the baseline", cut down the angles that the relatively inexperienced 23-year-old across the net could exploit and began to crowd him by sending the ball back far quicker than his opponent liked.

End result: 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

In his match against Tomas Berdych, the sacrilegious mistake that the Indian had made was that he was pushed far behind and was consequently digging balls instead of whacking them back early.

One is sure he has already realised that by now, but then the crucial difference is that Tipsarevic figured that out after just one set and then changed his game plan to ensure the match did not slip away.

The thing about these top players is the ability to adapt to an evolving match situation. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/1/06_01_pg22b.jpg

Bedene, one of the nicest guys on the Tour, had made his first career semifinal here with a 6-2, 7-6 (6) win against world number 17 Stanislas Wawrinka.

He had the strokes but, perhaps, not the necessary juice in his legs to withstand the Chennai humidity as well as the tenacity of a top-10 player who had no desire to fade away.

Tennis matches are won as much in the head as on court. As the contest wore on, Bedene's self-belief seemed to wear down.

But the young man from Slovenia has given enough of a display this week for Tipsarevic to say, "He is going to get better and better. Watch out for him this season."

Much to the relief of the tournament organisers --- who have already lost the top-seeded Berdych and fourth seed Wawrinka --- Bedene did not make the leap from potential to deliverance on Saturday night.

Agut in final
Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who knocked out Tomas Berdych earlier in the quarters, beat fifth seed Benoit Paire of France 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to cruise into the final.


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