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CHENNAI, India: World number nine Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia and unseeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain set up a title clash in the ATP Chennai Open with hard-earned wins yesterday.
The second-seeded Tipsarevic fought back after losing the first set to oust 23-year-old Aljaz Bedene of Slovania 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in a semi-final that lasted two hours and five minutes.
The 80th-ranked Agut, who knocked out top seed Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals, entered his maiden tour final by beating fifth seed Benoit Paire of France 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Tipsarevic, a losing finalist last year against big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, stayed on course to win his first Chennai Open title in his fifth appearance in the southern Indian city.
The tall Serb appeared shaken when Bedene, ranked 86th, secured a break in the ninth game of the first set with two superb passing shots.
But Bedene, who beat fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals, was outplayed in the next two sets as Tipsarevic served solidly and raised his game from the baseline.
“I knew I was playing well, but after a good start I took two steps backwards and just started pushing the ball,” Tipsarevic said of his loss in the first set.
“I think I played some of my best tennis in the next two sets and look forward to continue the same way in the final.
“I will be the favourite tomorrow (today), but I know my opponent will be motivated to win his first final, so I cannot afford to be complacent,” he said. AFP