Chennai Open: Paire wins battle of breaks

The slight difference arose in the number of break points created: Rosol saved eight out of 13 break points, and Paire five out of eight. Percentage-wise they may be the same, but the numbers indicate a better control by Paire on his game.

Benoit Paire came back after being two breaks down to win the match.   -  PTI

Lukas Rosol got over his first set loss and fought hard in the second.   -  M. Prabhu

The twists of the match were so numerous and confounding that its destination was uncertain till the final moments. Even after having broken twice in the second set with the first set in the bag, Benoit Paire in a few minutes was close to losing the set. But he defended three set points and then broke his opponent Lukas Rosol a third time, to clinch the see-sawing contest 7-5, 7-5.

The slight difference arose in the number of break points created: Rosol saved eight out of 13 break points, and Paire five out of eight. Percentage-wise they may be the same, but the numbers indicate a better control by Paire on his game.

Rosol looked determined to shake off the first-set loss, when he started serving with power to start the second set. A few unforced errors later, however, he was a break down. Paire served with ease and returned adroitly to break Rosol again. But facing a quick defeat, Rosol was rejuvenated and he capitalised on a few moments of lapse in concentration from Paire. Balls went long or were put into the net by Paire. Rosol drilled out four games in a row to take a 5-4 lead, and looked good for a service break but there turned out to be another twist instead.

Paire not only took that game, but also clinched the match by breaking Rosol one more time and holding his serve with the help of good first serves.

In the end, though, it seemed like a fair result given Rosol looked less at ease in rallies than his counterpart. Although the first serve percentage of Rosol was higher, at 59 percent to Paire’s 50 percent, these first serves were not too fast or heavy to establish an advantage. On the other hand, Paire put more effort and was more accurate in his first serves, evident in his conjuring eight aces to Rosol’s four.

The first set was similarly unpredictable. Paire looked set to take the set with ease, after having broke Rosol in the first game of the match. But in the middle of the set, leading 3-2, he engaged in a heated argument with the chair umpire for what he thought was a late challenge by Rosol of the landing of his serve. Although he didn’t let it affect him immediately, he was broken in his next service with a plethora of careless errors. But he came back to break again.

On Court One, ATP World No. 157 Thomas Fabbiano caused an upset with a straight-sets’ win over sixth seed Gilles Muller. The 6-4, 7-5 win has pitted Fabbiano against the third seed Paire, in the quarter-final.