By Ros Satar
- British No. 2 Aljaz Bedene misses out on back to back Chennai finals
- Borna Coric reaches his first final with a 7-6(5) 6-7(5) 6-3 win
- Coric is the youngest ATP World Tour finalist since Kei Nishikori (2008, Delray Beach).
CHENNAI, INDIA – British No. 2 Aljaz Bedene’s run at the Aircel Chennai Open came to an end at the hands of Borna Coric in a tight three-setter – 7-6(5) 6-7(5) 6-3.
The Brit was last year’s finalist and he has made Chennai his season opener for the last three years, including battling all the way through qualifying through to last year’s final.
He started promisingly enough with a good win over the seventh seed Vasek Pospisil, but had to fight his way through taut three setters to meet the youngster as he bid to go one step further this year.
Despite trying to put the Croatian under pressure early in the first set, it was Bedene that was on the back foot as Coric broke for an early lead, before the Brit broke straight back.
They both seemed to settle into the match with Bedene having to save a set point to force a tie-break. Coric swiftly took a 4-1 lead and although Bedene tried his best to stay in contention, claiming back two set points, Coric took a one-set lead.
In an evenly matched second set, the pair traded breaks before pushing themselves to a second tie-break, and this time the Brit was in possession of his own 4-1 lead. With four set points, Coric slowly came back at him, starting with a mini-break on Bedene’s serve, before Bedene was able to close it out to level the match.
A long opening game in the decider saw Coric save a game point, when Bedene broke the next time around, Coric had to dig deep to break straight back. But there was more to come with a mammoth game where Bedene pulled up five break points to try and get back on level terms in the final set.
It was a hold that would prove crucial for the Croatian, who broke Bedene to love straight after, closing out the match. He is in his first ATP Final and is the youngest finalist since Kei Nishikori in 2008 (Delray Beach).
Talking to ATPWorldTour.com, he said: “I am very happy to be in my first final. I played well today, I was brave when it mattered. Getting to the final in my first tournament of the new season is a big boost and I think it is going to help me have a good year.
“I don’t think I’m a Top 20 player yet. There are small details that I need to add to my game and those will get me closer to the best players in the world.”
He will face defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who claimed a win over his best friend Benoit Paire in the other semi-final, in straight sets 6-3 6-4.
Wawrinka and Coric are scheduled on Stadium Court at 5pm (11:30am GMT).
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