Stan Wawrinka saved three match points in his first-round match at the St. Petersburg Open, and he was tested once again on Wednesday in the second round.
The 2016 finalist overcame a spirited effort from home favourite Evgeny Donskoy to earn a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory, advancing to the quarter-finals.
“It was a great match, tough opponent, but my level was better from the beginning [this match],” Wawrinka said in his on-court interview. “I’m happy to keep winning here. Great atmosphere, great people here tonight and happy to play in the quarter-finals.”
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Donskoy only won 44 per cent of his service points in the first set. In the second set, however, he began swinging more freely to prevent the Swiss star from controlling all the rallies. Wawrinka even applauded one impressive Donskoy forehand. But the fifth seed did not allow his level to drop, powering through the third set to triumph after one hour and 42 minutes.
“I think in the second he started to play a bit more aggressively. He was dictating a little bit more the game. It was tough,” Wawrinka said. “I think the level in general was great from both sides. Happy to get through. I think I played a really solid match tonight, so it’s great, and I’m happy.”
Wawrinka will next play second seed Denis Shapovalov or Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka.