Top seed Stanislas Wawrinka scored a clinical 6-3, 6-1 win over Benjamin Becker to progress to the quarter-finals of the ATP Chennai Open even as second seed Michael Youzhny conceded his singles match in yet another player pull out on Wednesday.
Title favourite and world number eight Wawrinka needed just 54 minutes to brush aside the challenge of 79th ranked German rival in the rain-hit second round match.
The young Indian wild card pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and N Sriram Balaji stunned an experienced American team of Scott Lipsky, who is world number 31, and Rajeev Ram in straight sets.
The Tamil Nadu players shocked their rivals 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals. Rajeev Ram is a title winner in 2009 with Eric Butorac.
Balaji stood out with his backhand winners while Ramkumar, who is on a high after dumping India's number one player Somdev Devvarman in singles, served exteremely well.
Balaji and Ramkumar had a good 2013 season in doubles and both of them had ended the year with title wins with their respective partners.
Now they will start favorites against Croatian team of Marin Draganja and Mate Pavic, who got a walk over.
Earlier, Youzhny conceded his match against Israeli Dudi Sela when he was trailing 1-3 in the opening set due to a stomach problem.
A winner here in 2008, Youzhny issued a statement late on saying it was not possible for him to continue.
"It's a stomach problem. I actually wanted to play, but it was not possible. When you have restricted movement, it’s no use to play and lose. 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," he said.
The tournament has been hit badly by players pull out as Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic had decided not to compete due to an injury and Italian Fabio Fognini, who was to partner Leander Paes in the doubles, also pulled out due to an injury.
The story did not end here as qualifier Alexander Kudryavtsev from Russia also conceded his match after winning his first set rather easily against 95th ranked Slovakian Aljaz Bedene.
He was trailing 0-3 in the second set when he decided to concede the match.
Meanwhile, French seventh seed Edouard Roger Vasselin struggled past Jiri Vasely of Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 in 68 minutes to make it to the quarter-finals.
In the Wawrinka-Becker match, the Swiss took some time to settle down and broke Becker in the fifth game. Immediately after that break, a sudden rain shower halted the play for about 10 minutes. After resumption, Wawrinka wrapped up the set in quick time.
Enjoying an early break, Wawrinka opened up a 3-1 lead in the second set, which was again interrupted by rain. Becker could hold just one game and Wawrinka served out the match in the seventh game.
"It's great, it's a good start. I was really happy with my performance today. It's quite slow and humid out there, especially after rain," Wawrinka said.
Asked if his path to title would be easier, now that Youzhny has retired, the Swiss star said, "For me it doesn't matter. If it’s not Youzhny, it will be someone else. It’s a tough draw. There are some really good players this year, it’s a great field.
"But I think if I can focus well, and play my best game, I have a good chance to do something really good here. But I am going to take it match after match and see what happens in the next one," he added.
In a doubles first round match, Johan Brunstorm of Sweden and Federik Nielsen of Denmark scored an easy 6-3, 6-3 win over Tomaz Bednarek (Poland) and Mihail Elgin (Rus) in 57 minutes.
Meanwhile, Purav Raja also entered the doubles quarter-finals with partner Dudi Sela after a 7-6(4), 6-1 win over Nicholas Monroe of the USA and Frank Moser of Germany.
However, Delhi boy Divij Sharan was not lucky as he had to withdraw from the contest due to injury to his Taipei partner Yen-Hsun Lu.
Lu, who had injured his right leg while playing singles, found it tough to continue. They were leading 2-1 against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez from Spain and Philipp Oswald from Austria.
Image: Stanislas Wawrinka
Photograph courtesy: Aircel Chennai Open on Twitter