ATP St. Petersburg: Strong day for host Russians

Three Russians booked their place in the second round of their home nation's tournament, while a pair of big names booked quarterfinal spots on Wednesday in St. Petersburg.

ATP St. Petersburg: Strong day for host Russians
Mikhail Youzhny salutes the crowd in St. Petersburg. Photo: St. Petersburg Open

The first round of the St. Petersburg Open is over and the second round is underway as the US Open champion made his return to the court for the first time since his triumph in New York. There were also a handful of home hopes in action in front of the Russia crowd on a packed Wednesday in St. Petersburg. Here’s what happened on day three at the St. Petersburg Open.

Results

Stan Wawrinka got his campaign underway on Wednesday with a strong second round win over Lukas Rosol. The US Open champion only dropped four games, only needing 58 minutes to dispatch the Czech. Check out the full recap here.

Fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut managed to snap Spain’s losing streak is St. Petersburg by battling back from a set down to defeat Ricardas Berankis is his second round match. The fourth seed dropped the opening set, but roared back to take the second with ease. The final set was tight, with Bautista Agut blowing a late lead before the Spaniard ran away with the tiebreak 7-2 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

Janko Tipsarevic hits a forehand during his first round loss. Photo: St. Petersburg Open
Janko Tipsarevic hits a forehand during his first round loss. Photo: St. Petersburg Open

Last year’s runner-up Joao Sousa had a tough start to his campaign, battling back from a set down to defeat qualifier Radu Albot 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Sousa got off to a nightmare start, being broken in his first service game and falling behind 5-1 in the opening set. He was broken early in the second set too, but Albot was unable to keep his own level up and was broken three times as the eighth seed levelled. After exchanging breaks early in the third, Sousa failed to serve out the match at 5-3, but was not deterred, breaking Albot for the match three games later.

Seventh seed Viktor Troicki cruised into the second round, losing only three games in a blowing win over Gastao Elias. The Serbian was dominant on serve, saving the lone break point he faced and only dropping three points on his first serve in the 54-minute victory. Troicki raced out of the gate, taking a 5-0 lead in the opening set before taking it 6-1. He broke early again in the second before breaking again near the end to take the set 6-2.

The blockbuster first round match between former top-ten players Mikhail Youzhny and Janko Tipsarevic turned out to be a bit of a dud as Youzhny knocked off the Serbian in straight sets. A run of early breaks in the second ended with the Russian in control and he held the edge for the remainder to take the first set. After Tipsarevic saved a handful of break points in the opening game, the second set settled down and was tight until the very end. Youzhny broke at 5-5 and held his final game to set a second round clash with defending champion Milos Raonic.

Rublev pumps his fist during his win. Photo: St. Petersburg Open
Rublev pumps his fist during his win. Photo: St. Petersburg Open

It was a good day for the Russians all around as three of the four Russians in action, including Youzhny were victorious (and the one who wasn’t lost to another Russian). Andrey Kuznetsov won an all-Russian affair over Evgeny Donskoy in straight sets, while wildcard Andrey Rublev was up 6-3, 4-1 when his opponent, Mikhail Kukushkin, retired.

The rest of the second round matches will be contested tomorrow, with including the start of Milos Raonic’s title defence.