Karen Khachanov Outclasses Stan Wawrinka in Straight Sets in 1st Round of Rotterdam Open 2021

Published 03/02/2021, 10:11 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka looks dejected after losing his second round match against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Karen Khachanov beat three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round of ATP Rotterdam Open. Wawrinka was the eighth seed in Rotterdam and was ousted in just over 90 minutes.

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Wawrinka was a former champion at Rotterdam. Furthermore, he’d reached the final in 2019 as well. Earlier yesterday, Khachanov, with Andrey Rublev, had also defeated the doubles pairing of Wawrinka and Dusan Lajovic.

In their singles match, Khachanov was comprehensive and took his opportunities when Wawrinka couldn’t.

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Stan Wawrinka has a lackluster first set

An early break was what made the difference for @karenkhachanov in the first set against Stan Wawrinka: 6-4.

The 🇷🇺 is looking for his second career win at the #abnamrowtt. 🧐 pic.twitter.com/sz1ptbPhph

— ABN AMRO WTT (@abnamrowtt) March 2, 2021

The first set saw Wawrinka trailing the Russian right from the first shot. His shots were not powerful and Khachanov was troubling him. Stan was close to getting broken in the first game itself but he held on as Khachanov continued to race away with his own service games.

As the match progressed, Wawrinka’s first serve percentage dropped a lot. His service games were regularly nearing the five-minute mark. All this pressure resulted in Khachanov taking the break to lead 2-1. Following that, Khachanov was primed for the first set.

The Russian had a minor hiccup when serving at 3-2 but saved two break points to hold his serve, going on to take the first set 6-4.

Karen Khachanov outclassed Wawrinka to win the match

STAN-dard Wawrinka 😏@stanwawrinka #abnamrowtt pic.twitter.com/Si5jU1E6ab

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 2, 2021

The second set saw a visible improvement in Wawrinka’s service. It packed a punch and stopped Khachanov from delivering strong returns. Wawrinka was back hitting his signature backhand winners, but still lacked the continuous pressure that was needed to defeat Khachanov.

Stam kept searching for his first break of the match and Khachanov kept denying him. Both the players had tailed off a bit and stuck to their service games. At 4-4, sensing an opportunity, Khachanov pushed Wawrinka’s serve. The Swiss was shaky and barely held his serve.

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Khach him if you can ⚡️@karenkhachanov beats 2015 champion and 2019 finalist Wawrinka in straight sets 6-4 7-5 to advance in Rotterdam#abnamrowtt pic.twitter.com/bDNJ0fEeFB

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 2, 2021

But at 5-5, Khachanov pushed harder and got his reward as he broke Wawrinka and served for the match. He won eight out of the last nine points of the match as he easily won four points in a row on his serve to defeat Wawrinka, 6-4, 7-5.

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DIVE DEEPER

Stan Wawrinka Joins Grand Slam Record List Which Includes Roger Federer After Australian Open 2021 Loss

2 months ago

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Bhavishya Mittal

902 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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