Stan Wawrinka stunned in Australian Open second round by Tennys Sandgren
Stan Wawrinka crashed to a stunning straight sets defeat to American youngster Tennys Sandgren in the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday. Juan Martin Del Porto and Alexander Zverev both made it to the third round of the Grand Slam tennis tournament.Updated: Jan 18, 2018 17:47 IST
Agence France-Presse, Melbourne
Stan Wawrinka was knocked out of the Australian Open by American Tennys Sandgren in the second round on Thursday.
The 97th-ranked Sandgren defeated ninth seeded Wawrinka 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 and will next play Germany’s Maximilian Marterer.
It has been tough so far this year for Wawrinka, who was playing in his first tournament since Wimbledon six months ago following left knee surgery.
He was never in the contest and had his serve broken five times and made only 21 winners and 35 unforced errors.
The three-time Grand Slam winner, who defeated Rafael Nadal to win the 2014 Australian Open, has slipped to nine in the world rankings and faces a battle to climb higher after his early round exit.
He made the semi-finals at last year’s Australian Open where he lost to eventual champion Roger Federer in five sets.
Wawrinka had a troubled lead-in to the year’s opening Grand Slam, pulling out of an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi on his way to Australia.
He has not played a competitive match prior to his first round Open win over Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis, having only decided to take part last weekend.
Sandgren’s next opponent, world No.94 Marterer, reached the third round with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3 over Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco.
Juan Martin Del Potro, Alexander Zverev advance
Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro fought off rising Russian Karen Khachanov as he battled through the pain barrier to reach the third round at the Australian Open on Thursday.
The Argentine 12th seed needed 3hr 45 min in oppressive court conditions to see off the 47th-ranked youngster 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (0/7), 6-4 on Hisense Arena.
Del Potro, 29, in his first appearance in Melbourne for four years after wrist injuries, will face Czech veteran Tomas Berdych in the third round.
“It was really difficult to play. Almost 40 (Celsius) degrees out there is too much for the health,” Del Potro said.
“We did a big effort to play good tennis. The weather condition was too high for playing tennis.
“I survive. I will play after tomorrow I hope in different conditions.
“I have pain everywhere after that match but I am still standing up and that’s good,” he added.
Del Potro, who reached the third round in Melbourne for the fifth time, is looking to improve in his quarter-final appearances in 2009 and 2012, losing to Roger Federer both times.
The Argentine, who upset Federer in the 2009 US Open final, came into Melbourne a losing finalist to Roberto Bautista Agut in Auckland this month.
Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev powered into the third round at the Australian Open with a solid win over fellow German Peter Gojowczyk on Thursday.
The world No.4, just 20, took almost two hours to put away the 62nd-ranked Gojowczyk 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 on Hisense Arena.
Zverev will face another “NextGen” star Chung Hy-eon of South Korea in the next round on Saturday.
While Zverev won five titles and was one of just four players to beat Roger Federer last year, he has yet to get beyond the fourth round at a Grand Slam.
He was ousted in the third round in Melbourne in 2017 and will be seeking to go further this campaign.
It was an impressive performance by Zverev with 25 aces and no double faults, 46 winners and five service breaks.
First Published: Jan 18, 2018 17:44 IST