Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, the third seed in Paris, played his fourth round match of the French Open on court Philippe-Chatrier on Sunday afternoon. His opponent was the 22nd seed Serb, Viktor Troicki. The match was even in the first two sets and both sets headed to a tiebreaker; Wawrinka won the first set and Troicki the second set. The defending champion raised his level in the next two sets though and blasted through Troicki, who was suffering from a groaning injury, to win 7-6(5), 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2. In the quarterfinal, he will face Albert Ramos-Vinolas from Spain who beat an ailing Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
Wawrinka Clinches the First Set in a Tiebreaker
The first game of the first set was tight but the third seed held to make it 1-0. The next eight games all went with serve as well and were won pretty comfortably by the server, without getting to deuce. Both players were committing too many unforced errors and we did not see too many long rallies. In the 10th game, Troicki was serving to try and stay in the set and the third seed Swiss managed to go 15-30 on his serve and was two points away from winning the first set; But an ace from the 22nd seed and a couple of unforced errors from his racket ruined the defending champions' chance and the 30-year-old Serb leveled the set to 5-5.
Wawrinka held to love in the following game and Troicki found himself serving to stay in the set yet again. The Swiss raised his level in the 12th game and goes 40-0 up but the Serb saved all three break point chances. Troicki faced a fourth set point after a great drop shot from Wawrinka but he saved that one as well, with his first ace of the match and goes on to hold.
In the tiebreaker, Wawrinka started on the right foot and goes 4-0 up. At 6-2, he found himself with four more set-point opportunities; Troicki saved three of them but in his eighth set point, Wawrinka converted. The Swiss player won the first set 7-6(5).
Troicki Comes on Top in a Topsy-Turvy Second Set
The second set started with Wawrinka breaking the Troicki serve in the very first game of the set to lead 1-0. The 22nd seed broke right back and held in the third game that had three deuces (first game of the match to go to more than one deuce), making him the first player to hold serve in that set.
Wawrinka played another sloppy service game in the fourth game and Troicki broke him again to lead 3-1. Both players held in their next service game and the scoreboard showed 4-2 for the 30-year-old Serb. In the next two games, it was Troicki's turn to mess up and Wawrinka leveled the set to 4-4. The Serb managed to stop the run of games against him and held to make it 5-4 and force the defending champion to serve to stay in the set; he does so. A light rain starts to drop at that point but play continues. Both players held their next service game and we are heading to a second straight tiebreaker.
This time, it's the Serb who started the tiebreaker better and he went up 3-1. Wawrinka won the next point to erase the mini-break but Troicki won the next three of four points and at 6-3 has three set points. Wawrinka leveled to 6-6 and it seemed the 22nd seed missed his chance but he got a couple of more chances and he finally converted on his fifth set point to take the second set 7-6(7).
Wawrinka Too Strong for a Hampering Troicki in the End
The three first games went with serve and it was 2-1 Wawrinka. Wawrinka broke to love in the fourth game to increase his lead to 3-1. Troicki stretched his hamstring and seems to be hurting; carrying some sort of leg injury. We also see the trainer is waiting for the changeover and after Wawrinka holds to make it 4-1, the trainer did indeed rush over to the Serb. Troicki had a thigh or groin injury, it seems, and a medical timeout was called. When play resumed, a hampering Troicki managed to hold a couple of times but he failed to break Wawrinka who took the set 6-3.
Wawrinka started the fourth set strongly as well and gets the early break to lead 2-0. The 22nd seed Serb was running of time here and him struggling with his groin injury certainly did not help. Troicki succeeded in holding his own serve in the third game but he was clearly not happy with his movement and he goes on to lose the next three games. Wawrinka led 5-1 now and forced Troicki to serve to stay in the championship; he held to love but it is a case of too little, too late, and the defending champion serves out the match in the next game to prevailed 7-6(5) 6-7(7) 6-3 6-2. In the quarterfinal stage, he will face Albert Ramos-Vinolas from Spain who beat an injured Raonic 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
A Look at the Final Match Statistics
The third seed Swiss served better in the match and had more aces (19 aces to only nine aces from Troicki) and won more points on his second set (61 percent second-serve points won versus only 36 percent for the 22nd seed). The defending champion won five of 10 break-point opportunities as opposed to only two of five for the Serb. Finally, he won 25 more points in the match (150 points to 125 points from Troicki).