LONDON: Stan Wawrinka continued his stealthy progress through the Wimbledon draw with another clinical victory on Friday as the Swiss dispatched Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the fourth round.
The French Open champion, whose searing backhand is one of tennis’s most famous weapons, has not dropped a set in his three opening matches and was untroubled throughout against Verdasco.
The Spaniard, a former top 10 player, looked to be feeling the effects of two punishing five-setters in his opening rounds and came up short at key moments as Wawrinka broke once in each set to clinch victory.
The first set was evenly balanced until the decisive 10th game when Verdasco double-faulted on set point to hand the fourth seed the lead and the second set followed a familiar pattern with Wawrinka breaking for a 5-3 lead before serving out.
Verdasco bravely hung in, but the Swiss broke again for a 5-4 lead in the third and finished off the match with his 14th ace.
Next up for Wawrinka will be Belgium’s 16th seed David Goffin, who is also yet to drop a set in three matches and polished off Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 7-6, (7/3), 6-1, 6-1.
Kyrgios, Gasquet into last-16
Australia’s controversial Nick Kyrgios and Frenchman Richard Gasquet set-up a Wimbledon last-16 clash after knocking out last year’s semi-finalists Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov.
Kyrgios avenged his quarter-final loss of 12 months ago to Raonic with a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 third round victory over the seventh seed.
The 20-year-old hit 34 aces and blasted 61 winners. “Last year I tried to hit too many winners off his serve,” said Kyrgios. “This time I went to the chipped approach and it worked.”
Kyrgios faces another rematch in the fourth round against Gasquet after beating the Frenchman in a dramatic five-setter in the second round last year.
Gasquet, a semi-finalist in 2007 and seeded 21 this year, beat 11th seeded Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Dimitrov had defeated 2013 champion Andy Murray on his way to the semi-finals last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015.
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