Last year, Stan Wawrinka won at Chennai and went on to win the year’s first Grand Slam at Melbourne. Therefore, he had no hesitation in returning to Chennai in 2015 not only to defend his title but to use the good-luck charm once again that brought him the season opener Australian Open in 2014. Wawrinka’s progress through the tournament in 2015 was pretty smooth. He received the first-round bye and his first match was against the 18-year old Croat Borna Coric, whom he beat 6-1, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinal, Wawrinka beat Gilles Mueller of Luxembourg and then met the fast-improving David Goffin of Belgium in the semifinals. After defeating Goffin, Wawrinka reached his second successive final at Chennai, where he came face to face with Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene, who entered the tournament as a qualifier. Bedene, too had made impressive progress at Chennai and won an intensely contested semifinal against world no.15 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. Tennis fans in Chennai came in large numbers to cheer the stars, one of whom was Leander Paes, who lost the men’s doubles final playing with South Africa’s Raven Klaasen. But it was the men’s final that lit up the arena as Stan Wawrinka simply outclassed the Slovenian in a one-sided contest that lasted just 69 minutes.
With Sunday’s win over Aljaz Bedene, Stan Wawrinka collected his third Chennai Open title since he began playing here in 2009. Apart from 2014, Wawrinka also won the Chennai Open in 2011. On his first visit in 2009, Wawrinka had lost to Italian qualifier Flavio Cipolla in the early stages. In 2010, Wawrinka reached the final for the first time but he lost to Marin Cilic in a hard fought match. In 2011, Wawrinka won his first title by defeating Belgium’s Xavier Malisse in three sets. 2012 was a bad year for the Swiss as he was defeated in the quarterfinals by Japanese qualifier, Go Soeda. In 2013, Wawrinka lost once again in the quarterfinals and his conqueror was none other than yesterday’s finalist Aljaz Bedene. Last year, Wawrinka won his second Chennai Open title beating Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in straight sets. Before the final on Sunday, Wawrinka defeated David Goffin 7-5, 6-2 in the semifinal and he was ready for his title defense.
The final, however, turned out to be a tame affair. After his herculean efforts against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinal, Bedene looked an easy meat for Wawrinka, who exhibited a masterly game against the Slovenian Bedene had beaten the third seed Bautista Agut 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 in a hard fought match after saving four match points. In his earlier matches too, Bedene had come through after beating two other Spaniards; second seeded Feliciano Lopez and fifth seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. It was therefore expected that the Slovenian would play tough with the top seed. But Wawrinka played with authority and didn’t allow much leeway to Bedene to get into the match that finished at the score of 6-3, 6-4 in a little over an hour. Not only did Wawrinka take his third title at Chennai, he emerged as the first back-to-back winner in Chennai Open’s 20-year old history.
The Chennai Open 2015 men’s doubles final was won by Taiwanese Yen-Hsun Lu and UK’s Jonathan Marray. The pair defeated top seeded Leander Paes of India and Raven Klaasen of South Africa 6-3, 7-6 in an encounter that had 5000 spectators rooting for the Indian/South African pair. For the 42-year old Paes, it was the 25th year of continuing to play professional tennis and he began the year with Raven as his 100th doubles partner.
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