Wawrinka claims Chennai Open title

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iol spt jan5 Wawrinka-Chennai AP Stanislas Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open later this month by bagging the ATP Chennai Open title with a fluent victory over Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Photo by: Arun Sankar K.

World number eight Stanislas Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open later this month by bagging the ATP Chennai Open title with a fluent victory over Edouard Roger-Vasselin on Sunday.

The top-seeded Swiss, playing his 500th ATP Tour match, outclassed the 52nd-ranked Frenchman 7-5, 6-2 in the 90-minute final at the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium.

It was the fifth career title and the second in Chennai for 28-year-old Wawrinka, who emerged from the shadows of his renowned Swiss compatriot Roger Federer with a top 10 finish last year.

The morale-boosting win ahead of the year's first Grand Slam in Melbourne, starting January 13, earned Wawrinka the winner's purse of $72,490 and 250 ranking points.

Seventh-seeded Roger-Vasselin received $38,180 and 150 points.

The first set lasted an hour as both players held serve till the 10th game, before Wawrinka broke through in the 11th with a backhand cross-court shot that left Roger-Vasselin stranded.

The Frenchman, playing only his second final in a 12-year career, lost his serve in the opening game of the second set and then again in the fifth game before Wawrinka served out the match with an ace.

Wawrinka won the title without dropping a set during a bruising week in which six players, including second seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia and third seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy, were sidelined due to injury.

A seventh player, defending champion Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia, withdrew before the tournament began due to a heel injury. – AFP


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