Wawrinka Hits 35 Winners To Reach Paris Second Round
Gasquet beats Fritz
Stan Wawrinka raised his game at the right times on Tuesday to book his place in the Rolex Paris Masters second round. The Swiss No. 12 seed recorded his 13th match win of the year with a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Briton Daniel Evans in one hour and 33 minutes.
“I’m really happy with my level today, I was serving and moving well,” said 2015 semi-finalist Wawrinka, who now plays American Tommy Paul, who overcame 2012 semi-finalist Gilles Simon 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 "I was happy to be back here in Paris, even without crowd it's always a great tournament. We are lucky to still have some tournaments going, so I'm trying to enjoy them as much as possible."
Evans was left to rue missing out on two break points at 1-1 in the first set, with Wawrinka serving at 15/40. Having held serve, Wawrinka put his foot down and broke for a 3-1 advantage with a backhand volley winner. In a competitive second set, Wawrinka won four straight points from 2/2 in the tie-break and closed out with an unreturned serve.
Wawrinka, who struck 35 winners, is now 5-0 lifetime against Evans in their ATP Head2Head series. They met last month in the St. Petersburg Open first round, with Wawrinka saving three match points in a 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 win.
When asked about Evans, Wawrinka said: "I think he's always been a tough opponent. If we look at the scores, I saved match points in St. Petersburg, got lucky a little bit, saved match point at the US Open, three sets in Indian Wells. Tough sets today. He's tough player... It's not easy to get through him."
Later in the day, France's Richard Gasquet broke a four-match losing streak to overcome Taylor Fritz of the United States 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 36 minutes for his 15th victory of the reduced 2020 season. Gasquet will next play sixth-seeded Argentine and Nitto ATP Finals contender Diego Schwartzman.
"I am home and I like to play here in Bercy, even if there is no crowd," said Gasquet, in a post-match interview. "I am very happy with the way I played. It is very difficult to play without the support of a crowd."
Gasquet completed the 25-minute opener with an ace, before Fritz worked his way back into the match, breaking for a 5-3 advantage in the second set when Gasquet made a forehand error. Fritz, who completed the second set with an ace, could not convert three break points early in the decider and paid the prize at 1-2, when he was broken to love.
Elsewhere, Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka knocked out Pablo Andujar of Spain 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 for a second-round clash against last week’s Astana Open runner-up Adrian Mannarino, who was a 7-6(5), 6-3 victor over Serbian Dusan Lajovic.