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Chennai Open: Bopanna-Amritraj in last eight

January 06, 2006 00:51 IST

India's Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amritraj on Thursday beat third seeds Yves Allegro and Michael Kohlmann in the doubles first round of the Chennai Open.

The Indians scored an easy 6-3, 6-2 win over the Swiss-German pair to enter the quarterfinals.

Bopanna, who lost his second round singles earlier in the evening, overcame the disappointment and complemented Amritraj well.

The Indians pounced on the Allegro serve, which was easily the weakest link in the third seeds' game. The Swiss began with three double faults and the Indians capitalised to go 3-1 up. Amritraj and Bopanna then took on serve to wrap the first set 6-3.

The three seeds couldn't do much in the second set either, caving in 6-2.

They lost their serve in the fourth and the sixth games as Bopanna and Amritraj were more convincing at the net and dissected the court at will.

The Indian pair has also signed up to play in the doubles event at the Australian Open though their ranking maybe too low for a crack at the qualifying draw.

Meanwhile, the event continued to be tough on the seeds, as qualifier Marc Giquel of France stretched fourth seed and crowd favourite Paradorn Srichaphan in the singles second round.

The Thai prevailed 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 in a match that lasted more than two hours.

Srichaphan used his experience and crowd support to edge out the Frenchman in the final set in what proved to be a close game.

The qualifier made up for an ordinary serve with good court speed, but in the end Srichaphan was powerful on the groundstrokes.

"He won a close second set, but having played a lot of three setters here I felt confident going into it," said Srichaphan. "I knew I would play well in the third set."

"My initial goal here was to reach the semi-final, so I have to win one more match to get there," he added.

The Thai, who will meet Belgium's Kristof Vliegen in the quarterfinal, may meet top seed Ivan Ljubicic in the last four.

Deepti Patwardhan in Chennai