Murray River Open: Stan Wawrinka, Jannik Sinner stay in ATP title hunt

Seeded one at the Murray River Open and in his first match of the season, Wawrinka lost the opening set against his Kazakh opponent but kept his composure to fight back and win 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Agence France-Presse February 03, 2021 15:09:28 IST
Murray River Open: Stan Wawrinka, Jannik Sinner stay in ATP title hunt

Stan Wawrinka in action against Mikhail Kukushkin at the Murray River Open. AP

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka clawed past Mikhail Kukushkin Wednesday to keep alive his hopes of a first title since 2017 as he battles back from a case of COVID-19 .

The Swiss 35-year-old, who won the first of his three Grand Slam titles in Melbourne in 2014, tested positive to the virus just before Christmas, upsetting his preparations.

Seeded one at the Murray River Open and in his first match of the season, he lost the opening set against his Kazakh opponent but kept his composure to fight back and win 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

"It felt okay. I'm happy to get the win and I'm ready to start a new tournament, a new year, especially after a few months out," said Wawrinka, who last won an ATP title in Geneva more than three years ago.

He faces Australian Alex Bolt in the third round.

Britain's Dan Evans, who had the best season of his career in 2020, climbing to a career-high 28, also stayed in the title hunt, as did Australian James Duckworth, who upset French seventh seed Ugo Humbert.

Teen Jannik Sinner, who in November became the youngest ATP champion in 12 years when he won in Sofia, was another in the winner's circle.

Playing his first match since claiming the silverware in Bulgaria, the 19-year-old Italian swept past Australia's Aleksandar Vukic 6-2, 6-4 in the Great Ocean Road Open, being played concurrently at Melbourne Park.

"The pressure is on, because I want to be there trying to win matches," said Sinner.

"But I'm also trying to enjoy playing tennis. That's the most important thing for me."

While Sinner excelled, two-time Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren exited, beaten in three sets by Italy's Salvatore Caruso.

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic beats Daniil Medvedev to win ninth Slam in Melbourne
Sports

Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic beats Daniil Medvedev to win ninth Slam in Melbourne

Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open dominance improved to 18-0 combined in semi-finals and finals. On Sunday, Daniil Medvedev joined the ranks of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, all of whom have lost to Djoko in semis or finals in Melbourne.

Ugo Humbert saves three match points to reach quarter-finals in Montpellier
Sports

Ugo Humbert saves three match points to reach quarter-finals in Montpellier

Humbert trailed 2-5 in the second set and faced the match points at 3-5, then turned things around to clinch a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) win after nearly three hours.