Wawrinka Reaches Round 3 In Toronto
Stan Wawrinka got his Rogers Cup campaign off to a successful start on Tuesday, advancing to the third round with a 7-6(3), 7-6(8) win over Mikhail Youzhny. The pair traded breaks in the first set and, in the eventual tie-break, Wawrinka sealed the opener on his first set point opportunity with a backhand winner. Youzhny regrouped and raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, but the Swiss broke back in the fifth game for 2-3. Again in a tie-break, the second seed sealed victory on his third match point after two hours.
The 31-year-old Swiss, who hit 31 winners, next faces either No. 16 seed Jack Sock or Donald Young in the third round. A three-time titlist this year (Chennai, Dubai, Geneva), Wawrinka is making his tenth appearance at the Rogers Cup. His best result was a quarter-final showing in 2011 (l. to Fish).
Young set a second-round clash with Sock after prevailing in his opener against Alexandr Dolgopolov, 7-6(6), 6-4. Nothing separated the players in the first set, with both holding serve all the way through and winning 50 points each, but it was Young who managed to convert on his second set point in the tie-break at 7/6. The American then rallied from 1-4 down in the second set to take the match.
Earlier, Lucas Pouille was two points away from losing against qualifier Emilio Gomez, but the No. 13 seed rallied to win their opening round match, 6-7(8), 6-4, 7-5. Gomez, the son of 1990 Roland Garros champion Andres Gomez, saved a set point serving at 5-6 in the opening set and another down 6/7 in the tie-break before converting on his second set point. Pouille grabbed the lone break of serve in the second set to lead 4-3 and held the slight edge to force a deciding set.
The Frenchman served to stay in the match at 4-5, then broke Gomez in the next game before closing out the contest on his serve. The victory gave Pouille his first ATP World Tour main draw win in Canada. Next up for him in the second-round is Rajeev Ram, who won 90 per cent of his first serve points to advance earlier in the day over Ernests Gulbis, 6-4, 6-2.
Qualifier Dennis Novikov recorded his first main draw win at an ATP World Tour event by moving past Federico Delbonis, 6-4, 6-3. Novikov, ranked No. 131 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, converted on the lone break point chances he had in each set while saving both break points against him in the match. The American will now square off against a Top 10 player for the first time when he takes on No. 3 seed Kei Nishikori in the next round.
In-form Croatian Ivo Karlovic fought back in three sets to beat NextGen player Taylor Fritz 6-7(9), 7-6(5), 6-2, and set up a second-round meeting with his countryman, eighth seed Marin Cilic. Karlovic, who reached the final in Washington last week and won the title in Newport the week before, broke twice in the deciding set before serving it out after two hours and 17 minutes. He finished with 29 aces.