Stanislas Wawrinka made it two titles from two finals in 2016 as he battled past a spirited Marcos Baghdatis to capture the Dubai Tennis Championship. Beating the Cypriot 6-4 7-6 (13), the Swiss claimed his second title of the year after having won in Chennai January.
Tight match produces brilliance
With Novak Djokovic's 17 tournament run of making the final ended by his withdrawl due to illness, the draw in Dubai had really opened up to a number of pretenders to the Serbain's throne. Having defeated the hugely talented Nick Kyrgios in the semi finals, Wawrinka was always the favourite heading into the match against Marcos Baghdatis, especially given Wawrinka's 100% record over his hapeless opponent.
However, the Cypriot can produce moments of brilliance, even if he more often than not surrounds them with moments of frustration. It had been three years since he last took a set from Wawrinka and after almost two hours of play and an incredibly tense tie break, this record remains in place.
Wawrinka, who hasn't lost a final match since 2013, spoke of how 'amazing' it was to end the week, a week in which he only dropped one set; that was in the first round to Sergiy Stakhovsky.
'It's amazing feeling, especially today when I was playing some really good tennis.' He told the ATP Website after the match. 'It was a tough final against Marcos. We always play some tough match.'
By winning, Wawrinka becomes only the fifth active player to win five finals in a row, joining the likes of Roger Federer and even Tommy Haas.
Whilst the first set was close, the second set, and in particular the tiebreak, was on another level. In full, Wawrinka saved five set points in a tie break which proved too close to call, but in the end the Swiss prevailed.
In the doubles, Andreas Seppi and Simone Bolelli defeated Feliciano and Marc Lopez in another thriller, winning 6-2 3-6 14-12.