Stan Wawrinka Edges Andy Murray to Set All-Swiss Semi-Final Repeat in London - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Stan Wawrinka Edges Andy Murray to Set All-Swiss Semi-Final Repeat in London

Published

on

Call him WOW-rinka. Stan Wawrinka beats a spirited Andy Murray in straight sets 7-6(4) 6-4 to advance to the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals for the third straight year in a total of three appearances. Murray almost completed a terrific comeback from 2-5 down in the second set. Against Roger Federer, Wawrinka will compete in a repeat of the 2014 semi-final in London, when he lost to his compatriot after holding 4 match points.

 

A third straight semi-final in three participations since 2013 is not a common thing to achieve at the ATP World Tour Finals. Stan Wawrinka, has managed to reach the feat. Finding major glimpses of his best tennis, the Swiss has somehow found his way to the last 4 at the O2 Arena, for an impressive triplet not many had saw coming at the start of the tournament. The feat puts Stan very close to players like Novak Djokovic (3 titles in a row and 4th semifinal in 4 years) and Roger Federer (7th semifinal in a row at the O2 since 2009) who have made history for the tournament since it got moved to central London six years ago.

It could be the slower surface at the O2 Arena, which makes the indoor court quite similar to the red clay which brought him his second Grand Slam title this year. It could be the fact that there is no wind to interfere. It could be that the atmosphere at the O2 awakens all motivations and will. Whatever it is that works as a switch to turn on Wawrinka’s tennis at the ATP Finals, has functioned again.

Stan stayed strong until the very end in the match he ended up winning after almost two hours against Andy Murray. Down 2-4 in the tie-break in the first set he won 5 points in a row. Up 5-2 in the second set, he saw a spirited Murray come back to 4-5 and 15-40 on Wawrinka’s serve. Once again, despite the odds and a fully loud British crowd, the French Open champion kept his focus and was brave enough to go for his shots when he needed them the most.

Not a great day on serve for the Swiss, who closed with just 45% of first serves on court, but managing to win 67% of the points played on those first serves. Wawrinka finished the match relying on his second serve, proving to have made a step forward in terms of mental strength and quality. The Swiss collected his 7th win against Murray. Still behind in the all-time Head2Head record by 7-8, Wawrinka has beaten the Brit three times in a row now. The last time Murray has taken a set, and the match, away from the Swiss was in Tokyo in 2012, then Andy won 6-2 3-6 6-2 in the QF.

Now, in the semi-finals, Stan will have a chance to avenge the loss he faced last year in the same arena against friend and compatriot Roger Federer. In the best match of last year’s Finals, Stan lost 6-4 5-7 7-6(6) to Federer after holding 4 match points. Now Stan will have a shot at redemption in a season that saw him find the continuity he never had before on the most important tournaments on tour. With a personal record of 21 victories and 3 defeats in Grand Slam tournaments, and 3 titles (Chennai, Rotterdam and Roland Garros), the Swiss will most likely be closing his second consecutive season among the top 4 ranked players in the world.

With Wawrinka, three of last year’s four semifinalists will be once again in action at the ATP Finals, with runner-up Federer and 3-time champion Djokovic bidding to set a reply of the final that last year wasn’t played in London.

 

MATCH REPORT

(4) Stan Wawrinka (SUI) b. (2) Andy Murray (GBP) 7-6(4) 6-4
Match time: 1 hour and 54 minutes

 

O2 Arena, London
RR Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

 

Head-2-Head = Murray leads 8-6

Last Match: US Open QF 2013 S. Wawrinka b. A. Murray 6-4 6-3 6-2

 

Who wins qualifies as No.2 in the Ilie Nastase group

Group winner: Rafael Nadal

Stan Wawrinka starts the match on serve

 

THE FIRST SET

 

The first game gets to deuce with Wawrinka on serve. The Swiss has his first game points up 40-15, thanks to a forehand drop volley winner. Stan needs to win two extra points at 40-40 to hold serve without facing a break point.

 

Murray starts his service game closing the point at the net with a forehand volley. Wawrinka responds with an attack and a forehand volley himself. The Scot wins the game holding serve to 15.

 

In the third game Andy Murray is the first player to see a break point chance as the Scot wins an incredible point. With Wawrinka at the net attacking on Murray’s forehand, the Brit manages to stretch his arm to the ball and put a passing shot right on the baseline.

 

Here is the shot:

The Scot calls the crowd in for cheering. The O2 responds with the loudest noises of excitement in the match. Wawrinka saves the break point with an ace, but Murray manages to have another chance insisting on the Swiss’s backhand, pushing Wawrinka to hit in the net. Stan saves the second break point with another first serve on Murray’s forehand. Even just putting on court 40% of first serves, Wawrinka survives the scare and holds to lead 2-1.

 

The intensity is high, as both players know the semi-finals at the ATP Finals are at stake. For those questioning Murray’s motivation the answer has already been sent, blatant, by the Scot.

On the stands, Wawrinka has full support today in London, as both his girlfriend Donna Vekic and his ex wife and son are cheering for him:

moglie

Photo credit: OKTennis

In the following game Wawrinka has a chance up 0-30 on Murray’s serve. The Swiss attacks full power with his backhand, and forces Murray to miss first. Putting more spin in the ball and catching Stan off-guard, Murray comes back to 30-30 in the game. Andy insists on hitting on Wawrinka’s forehand, but the choice doesn’t pay off. Stan fires a cross court winner and has his first break point of the match at 30-40. Murray saves the break chance with a deep first serve. Just like Wawrinka in the previous game, Murray uses his first serve to escape the danger zone and holds to tie the score at 2-2.

 

Wawrinka holds to love in the following game and keeps the lead up 3-2. Murray responds holding to love to set the score at 3-3. Murray has won 9 out of 10 points on his first serve. Wawrinka is now more confident on his serve, pushing the percentage of first serves to close to 50% now. The Swiss holds to 15 closing the last point of the game with a volley smash winner. Stan leads 4-3 after 31 minutes. Murray has 6 winners, Wawrinka 9 so far.

 

Murray faces another threat serving in the 8th game. The Brit hits his first double fault in the match to trail back 0-30 in his service game. The Swiss steps onto court in the following point, attacking with his forehand and pushing Murray to hit in the net. Down 0-40 on his serve, Murray faces 3 break points. On the first break point, the Scot hits a winning forehand volley on the attack. On his second chance, Wawrinka stays strong in a long rally played in the middle of the court. Murray misses his backhand first and Wawrinka breaks to lead 5-3 and serve for the set.

 

Wawrinka gets to 30-15 with a serve and volley winner that hits the back of the baseline. Murray responds with a stunning forehand cross court defensive shot that becomes a winner. At 30-30 Stan succumbs to tension, hitting his 3rd double fault in the match to face a break point at 30-40. Wawrinka saves the break point pushing Murray to miss again. Sustained by the crowd, the Scot steps on court on the following point, winning the rally with a backhand drop volley winner to get another break chance, his third in the match. Murray plays an impressive point on defence, scrapping, sending every ball back on a 15-shot rally. In the end, the Scot finishes off with a winning forehand, with Wawrinka left in no man’s land. Murray is back in the set at 4-5, breaking Wawrinka’s serve for the first time on his 4th chance.

 

Here the incredible rally won by the Scot:

 

Serving to stay in the set, Murray holds to 15 and completes comeback. The Scot gets back to 5-5.  Wawrinka regroups in time to stay in the set. The Swiss holds to love to regain the lead at 6-5 after 51 minutes. Murray doesn’t tumble in the following game, holding serve at 15 and sending the set to a deciding tie-break.

 

On the first point Wawrinka gets called a first serve out. The Swiss calls for the Hawk-Eye and is right, turning the call and winning the first point with an ace. With great defensive skills, Murray wins both points on his serve and leads for the first time in the match 2-1 in the tie-break. Murray solidifies the lead with a stunning backhand inside-out return winner for a mini-break and a 3-2 lead. The Scot insists on Wawrinka’s backhand, hitting high balls on the last inches of the court. Wawrinka misses and Murray wins his 11th point out of the 16 played on rallies with 10 or more shots. The Scot misses an easy forehand on the following point, hitting in the net. Wawrinka “breaks” for the first time in the tie-break as Murray leads 4-3. A second serve on Andy’s body sends Stan back in the set. The Swiss completes the comeback and sets the score tied at 4-4. Murray hits a backhand return just wide and Wawrinka regains the lead up 5-4. The home-favourite fails under pressure again. Andy misses an easy forehand wide and Stan is the first player to reach set points at 6-4. Murray misses again, with Wawrinka at the net, the Scot’s tentative of a lob shot finishes both long and wide. After 1 hour and 6 minutes, Wawrinka wins the first set 7-6(4) winning the last 5 points in a row.

 

Murray closes the set with 15 winners and the same number of unforced errors. Wawrinka finishes with 15 winners and 17 unforced errors.

 

The tournament’s supervisor enters the court to speak with Murray during the changeover. The Scot is heard complaining about the noise and “running to the net instead of walking”. Not very clear what bothers the Scot.

 

 

THE SECOND SET

 

The second set starts with a break point chance for Wawrinka on Murray’s serve. The Swiss fires a forehand winner down the line at 30-30. On the break point, Murray hits an easy forehand in the net as Wawrinka breaks in the first game to lead 1-0.

 

Staying strong on serve, Wawrinka manages to solidify the lead and is up 2-0. The match at this point seems very much over. Murray however, refuses to give up easily. The Scot holds serve in the third game and manages to get to deuce with Wawrinka serving at 2-1. Despite the unexpected comeback turns the 02 Arena back in full-loudness mode, the sparkle fades soon. Wawrinka stay strong on serve, finds his first service when he needs it the most and closes the game to lead 3-1. Murray responds with a service hold to love. The match will be played on Wawrinka’s serve now.

 

Wawrinka holds serve easily in the 6th game and has a chance to close the match in advance with Murray serving down 2-4, firing a stunning backhand down the line passing shot to get to 0-30. The Scot survives thanks to a progression that hits the baseline and an incredible central second serve on which Wawrinka doesn’t return on court. The Swiss has another chance at 30-40. Facing his 5th break point in the match, Murray seems exhausted as he hits a forehand in the middle of the net to get broken for the third time. Wawrinka leads 5-2 and goes on to serve for the match.

Serving for the match, Wawrinka faces three consecutive break points down 0-40. The Swiss saves the first two serving well. Murray’s lack of brilliance makes the Scot miss also his third chance. Wawrinka keeps the match alive, hitting a tired forehand in the middle of the net to face the 4th break point in the match. Murray wins an incredible point, closing with a winning smash after an impressive defence from Wawrinka. The Scot breaks and trails back 3-5.

Wawrinka seems momentarily lost, as he hits a backhand easy volley in the net with Murray serving in the 9th game. The Scot goes on supported by the crowd and holds serve to love to send Wawrinka serving for the match a second time.

Murray uses the crowd to find extra energy in his tank. The Scot has incredibly another chance, with Wawrinka hitting a backhand wide to fall behind 0-30. Wawrinka pushes with his shots despite the tension, forces with his forehand to push Murray to hit in the net. At 15-30 Murray hits a backhand return down the line, on which Wawrinka hits a defensive forehand in the net. The Swiss is down 15-40 and can’t find his first serve. Stan finds courage to attack with his forehand and force Murray to hit in the net. The Brit touches his back in pain after missing the last shot.

Andy misses a forehand just long on his second break point chance and sets Wawrinka two points away from the match. Wawrinka attacks on the following point, comes to the net and closes the point with a winning smash. Murray smashes and destroys his racket in frustration as Stan has his first match point.

Murray’s racket smash:

Wawrinka attacks with his forehand again, but misses inches long wasting his first chance of closing the match. The drama goes on, as Wawrinka hits a second serve called out, which happens to be in as revealed by Hawk-Eye. On the following point, Murray kills a backhand in the net.

Wawrinka has a second match point. The Swiss fails to put the first serve on court, but wins the point as Murray hits a backhand wide. After 1 hour and 54 minutes Stan Wawrinka reaches his third consecutive semi-final at the O2 Arena.

The match stats:

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 22.24.39

ATP

Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

Published

on

Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket

Published

on

The legend of Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket lives on.

The 21-year-old Spaniard executed one magical shot after another with his racket and legs  Sunday afternoon in the French Open final. That bit of magic spelled defeat for Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

This was a final to remember, one of the great matches of all the Grand Slams. It just wasn’t in the cards for the 26-year-old Zverev to finally win a Grand Slam title.

HE HAD IT, THEN HE DIDN’T

Both players seemed to play a game of “he had it and then he didn’t.”

Alcaraz appeared to have everything under control in the first set, but Zverev rushed through the second set and then made a comeback from 5-2 down in the third set to win five straight games.

Zverev had everything going for him when he started the fourth set with a two-set advantage. It appeared that all the 6-6 Zverev had to do was to continue playing his masterful game of big serves and mighty ground strokes.

But Zverev couldn’t get started in the fourth set until he was down 4-0. So much for a smooth and easy ride to a Grand Slam title. By then, the magic of Alcaraz was heating up.

MAGIC OF ALCARAZ HEATING UP

Zverev still had his chances, even when he fell behind 2-1 in the fifth set. He had to feel pretty good about his chances when he took a triple break point lead against Alcaraz’s serve and appeared ready to even the set at 2-2. Even after Carlos came up with a winner to bring the  game score to double break point.

Zverev still was ready to even the entire match.

That’s when everything seemed to go haywire for the German, while all the while, Alcaraz was able to repeatedly come up with his magical shots as the Spaniard made critical shots that looked almost impossible to make.

ALCARAZ HEADED FOR GREATNESS

Everything for Zverev was lost in the magical racket of Alcaraz.

What was then initially called a game-ending Alcaraz double fault and a 2-2 deadlock quicky reversed itself and Alcaraz stayed alive by winning the next three points while taking a 3-1 advantage.

Zverev did get back to a 3-2 deficit and had a break point in the sixth game, but that was it for the hopes of Zverev. The last two games went rather easily in favor of Alcaraz to wrap up a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory for Alcaraz.

That moved the Spaniard to a higher level of success on the ATP Tour. He became the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all of the different surfaces, clay, grass and hard courts.

Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket appear to be headed for greatness.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open

Published

on

Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros have been fined more than 20,000 euros for multiple violations of the coaching rules at this year’s French Open. 

The brothers received a financial penalty during three different matches that they played in. Two of those were in the second and third rounds of the men’s doubles tournament. Furthermore, Stefanos was also penalised during his singles quarter-final match against Carlos Alcaraz, which he lost in straight sets. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, all three of those fines were issued as a result of coaching rules being broken.

Ironically, coaching is allowed during matches at the French Open but certain rules must be followed. ‘Verbal’ coaching can only be issued from the coaches and their team if they are sitting in the designated player’s box. Instructions must be limited to a few words and can only be given if the player is in the same half of the court as their coach. Although non-verbal coaching is allowed regardless of what side the player is on. Finally, players can’t start a conversation with their coach unless it is during a medical break, a bathroom break or when their opponent is changing clothes.

However, the Tsitsipas brothers have been found in violation of these rules, which is likely due to their animated father in the stands who is also their coach. Apostolos Tsitsipas has been given coaching violations in the past at other events, including the 2022 Australian Open. 

The value of the fines are €4,600 and €9,200 for the Tsitsipas brothers in the doubles, as well as an additional €7,400 just for Stefanos in the singles. In total, the value of their fines is €21,200. However, the penalty is unlikely to have an impact on the duo whose combined earnings for playing in this year’s French Open amount to roughly €495,000. 

So far in the tournament, the highest single fine to be issued this year was against Terence Atmane who hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan in the stands. Atmane, who later apologised for his actions, managed to avoid getting disqualified from the match. Instead, he was fined €23,000. 

Continue Reading

Trending