Chennai, Jan 1 (IANS) Second seed Mikhail Youzhny, the World No.15 from Russia, fell victim to a stomach ailment as he conceded his second round singles match trailing 1-3 in the first set against Israeli Dudi Sela, but top seed Stanislas Wawrinka rescued the Aircel Chennai Open with an easy 6-3, 6-1 win over German Benjamin Becker here Wednesday.
“It’s a stomach problem. I actually want to play, but I was not able to. I tried my best, but it’s not possible. When you have restricted movement, it’s no use to play on Centre Court and losing.
“It started last week in Thailand, some virus, and it continued here this week too. I’m sorry for the tournament and the spectators, but it’s not possible for me to play,” said Youzhny, a winner here in 2008 when he outplayed Rafael Nadal 6-0, 6-1, in the final.
Also conceding his match was India’s Leander Paes whose partner Fabio Fagnini of Italy pulled out of the doubles competition due to a “leg strain” and their scheduled opponents Marin Dragania and Mate Pavic from Croatia received a walk-over.
Thus, it was left to Wawrinka, the 28-year old Swiss No.2 to provide some top class action in a rain-interrupted match. Though Becker was hardly a match, Wawrinka, the 2011 champion here, gave glimpses of his strokeplay that had seen him break into top-10 in 2013.
“It’s a good start. I was really happy with my performance today. I think I did a really good job playing here. It’s quite slow and humid out there, especially since it was raining a bit. I was focused. I was trying to have a good match and I feel good now,” said Wawrinka.
The Swiss next goes up against Aljaz Bedene of Slovakia who benefitted when his opponent Alexander Kudryavtsev, the qualifier from Russia, conceded the tie in the second set due to some unspecified injury.
The Russian, who had knocked out eighth seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut in the previous round, took the first set 6-1, but trailed 0-3 in the second when he conceded.
An equally facile winner was seventh seeded Frenchman Eduard Roger-Vasselin who eased past 20-year old rising Czech star Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-4, on an outside court, the proceedings being halted due to rain with the former serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
“I feel relieved because it was a tough match, especially since at the end of the match it started to rain little bit. So we had to stop the match at 5-4, 40-all, I had a match point.
“I had to stay on my chair for almost 10 minutes and was a little bit nervous. I then came back on the court for just two points. So, it was good to finish the match in two sets,” said Roger-Vasselin who will next meet Sela.
On his upcoming clash with the Israeli, Roger-Vasselin said: “Dudi is a very good player. I know him really well. We’ve played against each other a couple of times. I think its 1-1 now.
“Of course, he’s not as good in the ranking as Youzhny, but you never know with this draw, especially in the beginning of the year when it’s always tough. Of course, I have my chance to win if I play good.”
Singles (2nd round): 1-Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) bt Benjamin Becker (GER) 6-3, 6-1; 7-Eduard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) bt Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-4, 6-4; Dudi Sela (ISR) bt 2-Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 3-1 (retd); Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt Alexander Kudryavtsev (RUS) 1-6, 3-0 (retd).
Doubles (1st round): Johan Brunstrom (SWE)/Frederik Nielsel (DEN) bt Tomasz Pednarek (POL)/ Mihail Elgin (RUS) 6-3, 6-3; Marin Dragania (CRO)/Mate Pavic (CRO) w/o Leander Paes (IND)/Fabio Fognini (ITA); 3-Andre Begemann (GER)/Martin Emmrich (GER) bt Jonathan Elric (ISR)/Andy Ram (ISR) 6-4, 6-3.