Top-seeded Wawrinka in line for 4th Chennai Open title
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 10, 2016 12:09 PM
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka plays a shot against France's Benoit Paire during the first semi final mach of Chennai Open tennis tournament in Chennai, India, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016. Wawrinka beat Paire in straight sets 6-3,6-4. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K)
CHENNAI, India (AP) — Stan Wawrinka will play for a third successive Chennai Open title in the final against Borna Coric, the youngest finalist on the ATP Tour in eight years.
The final was set on Saturday when top-seeded Wawrinka defeated Benoit Paire of France 6-4, 6-4, and Coric ruined Aljaz Bedene's hopes of a repeat of the 2015 final, beating the Briton 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-3 after an almost three-hour semifinal.
Wawrinka, the two-time defending champion who won his first title here in 2011 after finishing runner-up in 2010, dominated the 65-minute match against third-seeded Paire with his strong serve, and saved his lone break point in the second set.
They won the Chennai doubles together three years ago, but Wawrinka improved his head-to-head record against Paire to 6-1.
"We've played each other many times but it's never easy against him," Wawrinka said. "I need to play well against him because he has a good all-round game. I'm feeling great, but the season has just started."
Coric, at 19, became the youngest tour finalist since Kei Nishikori in 2008 at Delray Beach.
There was not much to choose between Coric and Bedene as they traded a break each in the first two sets.
The third set, too, was tight as Bedene broke in the third game and Coric broke back in the fourth.
However, Coric won the decisive break in the eighth game thanks to a couple of unforced errors by Bedene.
"I was struggling in the second set and did not have much energy left," Coric said. "I need some rest but will do my best in the final against Stan, who is the favorite."