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Stan Wawrinka labours to beat Martin Klizan in Sofia, his second win of 2018 season

After losing the opening set, Stan Wawrinka piled on the pressure with rasping baseline winners and wrapped up victory vs Martin Klizan at Sofia Open, showing no ill-effects from the injury that hampered him at the Australian Open last month.

tennis Updated: Feb 09, 2018 11:17 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters, Sofia
Sofia Open,Australian Open,Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka’s powers of recovery will be put to the test when he meets 2016 runner-up Viktor Troicki in the next round of the Sofia Open. (Getty Images)

Stan Wawrinka, looking to play himself back into form after a long layoff due to a knee surgery, survived a scare to advance to the Sofia Open quarter-finals with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Slovakian qualifier Martin Klizan on Thursday.

After losing the opening set, the 32-year-old three-times grand slam champion piled on the pressure with rasping baseline winners and wrapped up victory showing no ill-effects from the injury that hampered him at the Australian Open last month.

The burly Swiss’s powers of recovery will be put to the test on Friday when he meets 2016 runner-up Viktor Troicki. The Serb progressed to the last eight by beating Uzbek Denis Istomin 7-6(4), 1-6, 7-6(5).

Marcos Baghdatis upset second seed Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-1.

The feisty Cypriot, who will meet Slovakian qualifier Jozef Kovalik for a place in the semis, broke twice in the decisive set, leaving his 29-year-old opponent to hurl his racket to the court.

Third seed Gilles Muller needed all his experience to dig himself out of trouble and beat Italian Andreas Seppi 4-6 7-6(5), 7-6(2) in the longest match of the tournament to reach the quarter-finals in Sofia for a third consecutive year.

The 34-year-old left-hander from Luxembourg clawed his way back into a match lasting two hours and 35 minutes after powering down 23 aces to set up an intriguing clash with big-serving Romanian Marius Copil, who breezed past Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic 6-2, 6-2.

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 11:17 IST