ATP Chennai Day Three Recap: Marin Cilic shocked by qualifier Jozef Kovalik
Jozef Kovalik strikes the ball in a match against Marin Cilic (Photo: @chennaiopen)

ATP Chennai Day Three Recap: Marin Cilic shocked by qualifier Jozef Kovalik

Day three saw wins for Daniil Medvedev, third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Dudi Sela. The top seed Marin Cilic, on the other hand, was knocked out by the qualifier Jozef Kovalik.


Second round action began at the Aircel Chennai Open on day three of the new ATP 2017 season. Number one seed Marin Cilic, who was playing his first match of the year was dumped out by qualifier Jozef Kovalik in three sets. For Albert Ramos-Vinolas, it was a different feeling, he began his season with a win over Steve Darcis while Daniil Medvedev continued his good start by progressing to the quarterfinals defeating eight seed Yen-Hsun Lu. Korean Hyeon Chung couldn't back up his win against Borna Coric as he fell to Dudi Sela

Daniil Medvedev continues good form, advances to quarterfinals 

Eighth seed Yen-Hsun Lu was sent packing at the hands of the highly-talented Daniil Medvedev. In the third game, Lu had two chances to break the Russian but could find no answers. However, Medvedev went on to get the only break of the set in the ninth game before closing out the set, to love for a set lead.

Daniil Medvedev serving up a win against Dudi Sela (Photo: @chennaiopen)
Daniil Medvedev serving up a win against Dudi Sela (Photo: @chennaiopen)

The first four games went against serve in the second set before the world number 99 held serve after saving two break points. The Moscow native then broke Lu twice in two games as he booked his spot in the quarterfinals for the second time.   

Ramos-Vinolas begins season with convincing win

Albert Ramos-Vinolas dropped just two games en route to picking up his first win of the season in his very first match. He started out by breaking Steve Darcis in the third game to 15 and then two games later breaking again to go a double-break up despite the Belgium's best effort of saving two break points earlier in the game. The Spaniard then had two set points saved but would take his third chance to go one set up.

Ramos-Vinolas began the second set in hot form, breaking Darcis almost immediately. He would then go on to break the Belgium twice more in the set as he scored the tournament's first bagel. The 28-year-old was dominant on serve, winning 63 percent points on his first serve and 70 behind his second. He also converted 56 percent of break points and denied Darcis three times. 

Top seed Cilic sent packing

Marin Cilic was the second of the seeded players to be sent packing in what looked to be a straightforward match up. However, Kovalik made it hard work for the Croatian. The Slovakian matched the 2014 US Open champion toe-for-toe, taking him to a tiebreaker, and coming through 7-5. Cilic started the second set in business, breaking the qualifier in the second game and then consolidating to go 3-0 up. But from then on in, he managed to win just one game as Kovalik stormed back to break and level the set at 4-4.

Jozef Kovalik stretching for a ball in his match against Marin Cilic (Photo: @chennaiopen)
Jozef Kovalik stretching for a ball in his match against Marin Cilic (Photo: @chennaiopen)

However, the number one seed pulled it back, attacking Kovalik and earning the late break to then serve it out to level the match. The Slovak continued to stay in touch with the world number six and with another tiebreak on the cards, Kovalik found a way to break Cilic in the 11th game. The four-time champion then missed three chances to force a tiebreak as break points were missed. Eventually, Kovalik put the match to bed and scored the upset. 

Dudi Sela knocks out Hyeon Chung 

Both players kicked off the final match of the day in Chennai by breaking one another. Chung, who beat Borna Coric on Monday, struggled to make an impact in the match. Sela continued his impressive start and broke the Korean in the fourth game and then held serve a game later to take a 4-1 lead.

The 20-year-old did have two chances to back in the match but the Israeli saved both break points quite comfortably. Sela then held serve to love to clinch the set. The 31-year-old would break Chung in the fourth game of the second set and then again at 5-2 against serve to book a meeting with the third seed, Ramos-Vinolas.