• Nishikori recovers, joins Wawrinka in Chennai quarters

    1/6/11 9:58 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Nishikori recovers, joins Wawrinka in Chennai quarters  Kei Nishikori comes back from a set and two-break deficit to beat Alejandro Falla and reach the Chennai quarterfinals on Thursday. Stanislas Wawrinka also advances with a tough win over David Goffin.

    Kei Nishikori d. Alejandro Falla 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

    One day after Richard Gasquet blew a 6-1, 5-2 lead against Bjorn Phau, another set and two-break advantage was squandered at the Aircel Chennai Open--this time by Falla. Despite pulling ahead of Nishikori 6-4, 3-0, quickly melted down just as his opponent woke up and raised his level. Nishikori earned his first break of the night for 1-3 in the second and he did not lose another game throughout the entire set.

    That set the stage for even more drama in the third. A scoring error in the first game prevented Falla from taking a 1-0 lead when the umpire incorrectly called deuce. Nishikori promptly won the next two points to break and Falla never came close to recovering. The 105th-ranked Colombian tanked the remainder of them match, somehow managing to win a pair of games after falling into a 3-0 hole. Nishikori, whose solid performance in sets two and three was overshadowed by Falla's meltdown, moves on to meet Janko Tipsarevic in the quarterfinals.

    Stanislas Wawrinka d. David Goffin 7-6(3), 7-6(3)

    Wawrinka held off a strong challenge late Thursday night in Chennai to get past Goffin after one hour and 56 minutes. Goffin, who was already in the midst of his best career week at the ATP level, came out firing with nothing to lose and broke immediately for a 1-0 lead. The 20-year-old Belgian (mistakenly listed as 5'4'' on the ATP website but likely no taller than 5'8'') consilidated en route to a 4-2 advantage before his opponent got back on serve in the eighth game. Wawrinka eventually forced a tiebreaker and took care of it seven points to three.

    The third-seeded Swiss, however, suddenly suffered a lapse in body language and movement despit having the momentum. Goffin again raced to a break lead, storming ahead 3-0. Wawrinka broke back at 4-2, but still had to save a set point at 4-5--which he did after running down several near-winners. Another 'breaker had to decide it, and once more the favorite's edge in power and ability to win free points on serve proved to be the difference. Next up for Wawrinka is Robin Haase, who ousted Yuichi Sugita.

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