Defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka and rising star Milos Raonic moved into the quarter-finals of the ATP Chennai Open in contrasting style on yesterday. Wawrinka, the third-seeded Swiss, fought back to overcome valiant Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a tense battle that lasted two hours and 25 minutes.
Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka returns to France's Edouard Roger- Vasselin during their second round match of the Chennai Open yesterday. Wawrinka won 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Pics/AFP
Fourth-seeded Raonic of Canada brushed aside Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 14 minutes on the centre court of the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium. Raonic (21) provided a glimpse of his power-packed game that made him the ATP's newcomer of the year in 2011, during which he jumped from number 156 to 25 before ending the year ranked 31.
The 17th-ranked Wawrinka, who beat Xavier Malisse of Belgium in last year's final, appeared in trouble when Roger-Vasselin served for the match at 5-4 in the deciding set. But the seasoned Swiss overcame pain in his left leg to make it 5-5 and secured another break in the 12th game to clinch victory.
Roger-Vasselin had been drafted into the main draw as the lucky loser after India's number one Somdev Devvarman withdrew from his home event due to a shoulder injury. Wawrinka said: "It's never easy to start the season with a win, so I am happy to be through to the quarter-finals." He next plays Go Soeda of Japan, who beat No 5 Ivan Dodig of Croatia 7-6 (8/6), 6-3.