Stan’s The Man With 400th Win
No. 4 seed reaches career milestone in advancing to round of 16
A night after his compatriot Roger Federer became the first man to reach the 300-win mark at the majors, Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka captured the 400th tour-level win of his career at the Australian Open, advancing to the round of 16 with a 6-2, 6-3, 7-6(3) decision over Lukas Rosol in Rod Laver Arena.
The 2014 titlist, into the fourth round for the fourth straight year, remains unbeaten in three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings with Rosol, and is riding an 11-match winning streak against players from the Czech Republic.
"Always a tough opponent for sure,” Wawrinka told reporters. “But I'm happy the way I'm playing so far. Today I think the beginning I started really well, not only with the serve, but returning almost every shot, making him play a lot, being aggressive, taking the ball early. I’m happy with the match in general. Three sets, it's a good win.”
A service break in the fourth game of the first set would separate Wawrinka from his 51st-ranked opponent, who was bidding to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time. The Swiss would register two more breaks in the second set in the sixth and eighth games, and later took control of the decisive third-set tie-break. He totaled 45 winners to 23 winners in the winning effort.
Wawrinka and Rosol were two of the 13 men aged 30 and over to reach the third round in Melbourne. This is the most through to this stage of the Australian Open since there were 19 in 1977.
Video courtesy AusOpen.com
Next up for Wawrinka will be No. 13 seed Milos Raonic, who dispatched No. 21 Viktor Troicki in straight sets 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the round of 16 for the fourth time. He is an unbeaten 4-0 against the Canadian in FedEx ATP Head2Heads.
“He's a tough player, for sure,” said Wawrinka. “Never lost [to him], but it's always been a tough match. He's been playing really good since the beginning of the year, winning the first title in Brisbane against Roger in the final. He's trying to improve. He's trying to win big titles. It will be a difficult match. In general, I always find some solution to break his serve, even though it’s really tough. We'll see. Hopefully, I can be ready and be strong enough to take that one.”
Thirty-three winners, including 10 aces, were good enough to get Gael Monfils past countryman Stephane Robert 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in an all-French battle in Hisense Arena. It was the 350th match win of the No. 23 seed's career. Robert was hoping to get the better of his countryman and become the first qualifier through to the round of 16 since Raonic in 2011.