Sela rolls into Chennai quarters after Youzhny retires

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January 2, 2014 03:39

Sela, ranked No. 73 in the world, was leading Youzhny 3-1 and 30-0 when his world No. 15 opponent rushed off the court due to a stomach virus after just 24 minutes.

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Dudi Sela

dudi sela370. (photo credit: Reuters)

Dudi Sela advanced to his first ATP Tour quarterfinal in more than 18 months on Wednesday, benefiting from Michael Youzhny’s sudden injury retirement in the second round of the Chennai Open in India.

Sela, ranked No. 73 in the world, was leading Youzhny 3-1 and 30-0 when his world No. 15 opponent rushed off the court due to a stomach virus after just 24 minutes.

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The Israeli will face Edouard Roger-Vasselin (52) in the last eight after the Frenchman beat Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday.

Sela will be playing in his first ATP Tour quarterfinal since reaching the last eight in Newport, Rhode Island, in July 2012.

He will be aiming to progress to his first semifinal since he made the last four in Delray Beach, Florida, in February 2012.

Meanwhile, Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich began 2014 with a defeat on Wednesday, falling 6-4, 6-3 to Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich in the first round of the doubles tournament in Chennai.

Elsewhere Wednesday, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray lost 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to German Florian Mayer in the Qatar Open second round, his second competitive match since returning from a back injury.

The third-seeded Briton, who beat Mousa Zayed 6-0, 6-0 in the first round, led 3-0 in the second set before Mayer won five games in a row and the world number 40 dominated the decider in Doha to seal victory in just under two hours.

Murray, the world number four, will head to Melbourne for this month’s Australian Open having played only two exhibitions and two ATP Tour matches since undergoing back surgery in September.

Meanwhile, a refreshed Roger Federer’s clinical demolition of Jarkko Nieminen in his first match of 2014 suggested he could be a factor in the first major of the year.

His debut appearance at the Brisbane International was rapturously greeted by tournament organizers and fans alike, but following his first year without a Grand Slam final appearance since 2002 it was not certain what stage of decline the Swiss ace was in.

A 6-4, 6-2 victory over his tough Finnish opponent hinted that he was ready to put on a competitive showing at Melbourne Park, now relieved of the back problems that dogged his 2013 campaign and contributed to his second and fourth-round exits at Wimbledon and the US Open.

“I’m actually very clear in my mind,” Federer told reporters.

“Now it’s just down to forehands and backhands and tactics and movement. That’s kind of what you want it to be, because unfortunately it hasn’t always been that way last year with my issues.”

Reuters contributed to this report


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