Jan 2 2013, 9:39am CST | by Luigi Lugmayr
Chennai, Jan 2 — Go Soeda, the eighth seed from Japan, dug deep into his reserves to get past a battling qualifier Prakash Amritraj 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4, to book his berth in the quarter-finals of the Aircel ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament, here Wednesday.
The 28-year old Soeda, ranked 60, saved a set point in the first and then shrugged off a wayward second to win in three over US-born Amritraj, coming back on the tour after a two-year break.
In a touch-and-go match that lasted all of two hours and 29 minutes, there was little to separate the two as Amritraj, ranked 551, wasted a set point when serving at 5-4 in the first, allowing the Japanese to break back and eventually take the tie-break dropping just two points.
In the second set, it was Amritraj all the way as he broke Soeda, a semi-finalist here last year, in the third and ninth games to draw level.
The decider saw both serving well until Soeda broke Amritraj in the ninth and then served out the set for the match that could have gone either way.
On the day, Amritraj, who came through a tough qualifying competition and had beaten fancied Guillaume Rufin in three sets Tuesday, showcased his fitness as he matched the Japanese stroke for stroke and even outplayed the higher-ranked opponent in spells.
However, Soeda did well to gather himself after an error-ridden second set that Amritraj dominated with some telling netplay and passes and blasted timely winners in the third to emerge a deserving winner.
The results (Prefix denotes seeding):
Singles (2nd round): 8-Go Soeda (JPN) bt Prakash Amritraj (IND) 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4; Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt 6-Robin Haase (NED) 7-5, 6-3; Dudi Sela (ISR) bt Q-Rajiv Ram (US) 6-4, 6-1; Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) bt Q-Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5).
Doubles (1st round): Nicolas Monroe (US)/Raven Klaasen (RSA) bt Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)/Flavio Cipolla (ITA) 6-3, 6-1; Sanchat Ratiwatana/Sonchai Ratiwatana (THA) bt 2-Leander Paes (IND)/Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 7-6 (7), 6-1; Aljaz Bedene/Blaz Kavcic (SLO) bt Evgeny Donskoy/Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 6-4, 6-4.
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