Wed, Feb 06, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Copil rallies from set down to oust Wawrinka in Sofia

Reuters, SOFIA

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka on Monday fell at the first hurdle in the Sofia Open, beaten 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 by Romanian Marius Copil.

The Swiss, who has fallen to No. 57 in the rankings, strolled to the first set in just 23 minutes after breaking Copil in the sixth game, but the Romanian became more comfortable as the match went on and bagged the second set after a tiebreak.

Copil, who reached the tournament’s final last year, put up stubborn resistance from the baseline in the third set, wrapping up his first career victory over the 33-year-old Wawrinka, whose trademark backhand failed to fire.

“It’s great to start with a win against Wawrinka,” world No. 56 Copil said. “I made a few mistakes at the beginning. I had to change things, I knew I had to stay in the game after losing the first set.”

“I served well today,” he added. “The serve has always been my main weapon.”

Next up for Copil is the winner of the first-round clash between sixth seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain and Bulgarian qualifier Alexandar Lazarov, who defeated Italy’s Luca Vanni 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 7-5.

Top seed Karen Khachanov of Russia is to begin his campaign in the second round against the winner of the match between Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin and Italian Matteo Berrettini.

Greek second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals last month, is to face Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff or Italy’s Stefano Travaglia.

OPEN SUD DE FRANCE

AP, MONTPELLIER, France

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Monday rallied from a set down to beat fellow Frenchman Ugo Humbert 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 in the first round of the Open Sud de France.

Tsonga, who has slipped to No. 210 in the world rankings after a long injury layoff, next faces another compatriot, fourth seed Gilles Simon, who received a first-round bye.

Tsonga wasted seven break points, but finally took the advantage in the final set, with Humbert visibly disappointed to have lost a second set he dominated.

It was even tougher for Marcel Granollers, who needed three tiebreak sets to prevail 7-6 (7/3), 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5) over Croatian Ivo Karlovic, who turns 40 this month.

Granollers of Spain next faces third seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada.

Jeremy Chardy routed lucky loser Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain 6-1, 6-1 in only 47 minutes.

Chardy next faces fellow Frenchman Antoine Hoang or Belgian Steve Darcis in the second round.

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