Wawrinka Opens Monte-Carlo Bid
Former champion Stan Wawrinka opened his Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters campaign on Wednesday with a 7-6(2), 7-5 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Breaks were exchanged at the start of the match before Wawrinka ultimately took the first set in a tie-break. The Swiss squandered a 3-1 lead in the second set, but broke Kohlschreiber again in the 11th game before sealing victory in one hour and 37 minutes.
“It was a good first match, first match on clay,” said Wawrinka. “It’s never easy to find the rhythm and to play the perfect match. In general, I’m quite happy with the level already.”
Wawrinka broke up the domination of the ‘Big Four’ at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments when he captured his first title at this level in Monte-Carlo two years ago, beating countryman Roger Federer in the final. Between them, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Federer and Rafael Nadal have won 50 of the past 54 Masters 1000 titles.
The 30-year-old Wawrinka set a clash with Gilles Simon as he claimed his 16th win of the season, highlighted by titles in Chennai (d. Coric) and Dubai (d. Baghdatis).
Qualifier Damir Dzumhur claimed one of the biggest wins of his career as he upset sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-7(1), 6-3 in two hours and 28 minutes. The 23 year old, from Bosnia & Herzegovina, saved eight of the nine break points he faced as he battled to victory.
Dzumhur is coming off a career-best week in Miami, where he was victorious over Rafael Nadal (retired) in the second round before going on to reach the fourth round (l. to Raonic). He goes on to face either Milos Raonic or Pablo Cuevas.
France’s Benoit Paire set a third-round clash with Andy Murray after defeating Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3.