Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka emerged from the brink of defeat in his first-round match at the St. Petersburg Open. Wawrinka defeated Dan Evans in a thrilling three-set match that lasted two hours and 31 minutes. Despite being three match points down at 3-6, 5-6, 0/40 against Evans, the Swiss won the next five points to push the second set into a tie-break and level the match.
Evans rebounded in the third set by breaking Wawrinka’s serve early. However, the No. 5 seed broke Evans twice and eventually wrapped up the match 7-5 in the deciding set. Wawrinka now leads 4-0 in his head-to-head against Evans.
This wasn’t the first time Wawrinka saved match points against Brit No.1. In the 2016 US Open, Stan saved a match point against Evans in the third round and ended up lifting the trophy in the final.
During the post-match conference, a journalist asked Wawrinka about the prospect of qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals. The World No.18 contended that he was quite far in the race to qualify for the tournament and talked about getting ready for the next year’s season instead.
“No, I think I’m really far from it. Yeah, there is more tournaments to be played, there’s a lot of points to be taken, but I’m not thinking about that. I think I’m far away from it. I’m thinking to get back some matches, to win matches, to get back the confidence in matches, to hopefully play a lot of matches before the end of the season to get ready for next year. So, yeah, just focusing on what I’m doing day-by-day.” said Wawrinka.
Stan has reached the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals successively from 2013 to 2015, but unfortunately got ousted each time. The Swiss will face Evgeny Donskoy in the next round at St. Petersburg Open for a place in the quarterfinals. Donsky downed Belarusian Egor Gerasimov in straight sets in the opening round.