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Wawrinka downs Troicki
February 10, 2018
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Sofia: Former world number 3 and three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka will play in his first ATP semi-final since Roland Garros last spring after a 6-2 7-6 victory over the 6th seed Viktor Troicki in an hour and 23 minutes. Competing in only his fourth match since returning to action after being sidelined in the second part of 2017 with a knee injury, Stan faced just two break points and he broke Troicki three times from six opportunities to notch the ninth win over the Serb in as many matches.

The class difference between Wawrinka and Troicki (ATP 67) was very clear at the beginning with the Serbian finding Wawrinka’s serve too hot to handle. The Swiss player raced to a 5-0 lead before conceding as game to his rival. However that was the only game that Troicki won as Wawrinka took the first set 6-1.

The players were more evenly matched in the second set, partly because Troicki hit better. At 4-3, the Serb even managed a break. Wawrinka’s reaction was not long in coming; he picked up his game immediately and decided the game in the tie-breaker for himself.

In the semi-final, the 32-year-old meets the winner of the match between Mirza Basic and Maximilian Marterer.

Earlier, Romania’s Marius Copil advanced to the first ATP World Tour semi-final of his career by remaining composed in a 6-4, 6-4 victory over third seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg. One break in the ninth games of each set, proved to be enough for Copil, who struck 13 aces and lost eight of his first-service points. He’d previously lost five quarter-finals and now plays Slovakian qualifier Jozef Kovalik.

Kovalik earlier stunned Marcos Baghdatis of Cypress, imposing himself in two sets and emerging winner 7-6 6-4. The number 187 of the world -- coming from qualifying -- wasted an opportunity in the first when he was on 5-3, but he then came back into his own in the tie-break, winning it 7-2 to take a 1-0 lead.

In the second set, the Slovak player broke Baghdatis at 4-4 and went on to close out the set 6-4 and the match to make the semi-finals. For Copil too it was his first semis appearance on the major circuit.


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