Malisse, Youzhny, Serra, Moya enter Chennai quarters
Jan 03: Defending champion Xavier Malisse, who has got no seeding in the tournament, and fourth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny scored distinctive wins against their respective opponents to set up a quarterfinal clash in the Chennai Open played at the SDAT stadium here on Wednesday.
Former champion and Third seed Carlos Moya of Spain also advanced to the quarterfinals, where he will meet French player Florent Serra who scored a memorable victory over Belgian Kristof Vliegen 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3) on his career ATP debut.
Belgian Malisse clinched a hard fought 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory over sixth-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria in the second round, while Russian player Youzhny survived a scare from Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France before prevailing 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.
Roger-Vasselin, who entered second round after defeating Indian Wildcard Vishnu Vardhan, gave hard time to his Russian counterpart in the first five games.
After a long injury-forced absence, Malisse returned to regain his rhythm as he held service throughout and effected two breaks that led to Melzer's ouster from the first week of the new season.
Malisse, whose ATP Tour ranking dropped to 112 after featuring in just two matches during the past 10 months, played an aggressive game that forced the 60th-ranked Melzer into committing errors.
"I'm very happy with my game today, I served well and followed up with good ground strokes," said Malisse.
"It was my plan to go out and play a lot more shots than in the previous round, which was my first outing after a very long time," he said.
â??I never thought I would lose or anything. It was a tough match. I could not maintain the level I wanted to achieve,â?? said the Russian Youzhny after surviving a scare.
â??I hope I will be more consistent in the next match. I need to start playing my normal game, which is important,â?? Youzhny added.
Meanwhile in doubles, the Indian duo of Mustafa Ghouse and Karan Rastogi lost
4-6, 6-7 (1) after fighting against higher rated pair Marin Cilic of Croatia and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan.
Singles: Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 1-6, 6-2; Florent Serra (Fra) bt Kristof Vliegen (Bel) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3); Xavier Malisse (Bel) bt Jurgen Melzer (Aut) 7-6 (3), 6-2; Carlos Moya (Esp) bt Alexandre Kudryavtsev (Rus) 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-2
Doubles: first round: Igor Kunitsyn (Rus) & Jim Thomas (US) bt Xavier Malisse (Bel) & Giles Muller (Lux) 7-5, 5-7, 14-12.
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