Chennai, Jan 6: Serbian Davis Cupper and sixth seed Janko Tipsarevic kept his emotions in check to ward off a stiff second set challenge from Russian qualifier Alexandre Kudryavtsev for a 6-2, 7-6 (3) win en route to the quarter-finals of the Aircel ATP Chennai Open here on Thursday.
Also progressing to the round of eight was eighth seed Robin Haase of the Netherlands who shrugged off a poor start to beat qualifier Yuichi Sugita (Japan) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Known for being temperamental and lapses in concentration when playing a lesser ranked player, Tipsarevic, a 26-year old Belgrade resident, did enough to get past his 159th ranked opponent who was clearly not in the same league.
“He was serving well, especially in the second set, but I was lucky to get an early break in the tie-break and win,” said Tipsarevic who as a junior was marked for greater things, but somehow, has failed to live up to those early expectations having achieved his best ranking of 33 in 2008 as against his current 49.
Two breaks of serve in the fourth and eighth games gave Tipsarevic the first set, but in the second, the games went with serves leading to the tie-break.
Tipsarevic, a semi-finalist here last year and quarter-finalist on debut in 2009, admitted that he was buoyed by the crowd support in both his matches so far.
“I do not know why I am popular, but it is a great feeling to know that people like you,” said Tipsarevic who recently confessed that he was at his best when the crowd was behind him.
Yet, in flashes, his mind tended to wander and it was just as well for him that Kudryavtsev was unable to capitalize on the openings.
Late last night, seventh seed Xavier Malisse from Belgium, winner here in 2007, progressed to the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-2 win against Frenchman Stephane Robert.
The results (second round):
Singles: 7-Xavier Malisse (BEL) bt Stephane Robert (FRA) 6-2, 6-2; 6-Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) bt Q-Alexandre Kudryavtsev (RUS) 6-2, 7-6 (3); 8-Robin Haase (NED) bt Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.