Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Top seed Stan Wawrinka won the Ja­pan Open on Sun­day af­ter thrash­ing French­man Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-4 to cap­ture his fourth ti­tle of the year.

French Open cham­pion Wawrinka took just 65 min­utes to com­plete vic­tory in Tokyo with Paire, who un­der­went a scan on his left an­kle be­fore the fi­nal and needed pain-killing in­jec­tions to play, clearly in dis­com­fort.

“It feels re­ally great, it’s been a spe­cial week,” said Wawrinka, sport­ing a red “Stan the Man” T-shirt and snap­ping self­ies sil­ver tro­phy.

“I took my time to get to the top but once I get some­where, I stay,” added the Swiss af­ter win­ning his 11th ca­reer ti­tle. “Once I started to beat the top guys and win tro­phies, I got the con­fi­dence to know I can do it. But four in one year is amaz­ing.”

Wawrinka quickly found his groove and fierce pres­sure earned him a break for 4-2 in the first set. The world No 4 pressed home his ad­van­tage with a thump­ing cross­court fore­hand which wrong-footed


the his close friend Paire.

With lit­tle left in the tank af­ter top­pling de­fend­ing cham­pion Kei Nishikori in Satur­day’s semi­fi­nals, Paire took a tum­ble early in the sec­ond set but gamely bat­tled on de­spite be­ing ob­vi­ously in pain.

The “lucky” sneak­ers held to­gether by tape he wore in his win over Nishikori granted Paire no such mys­ti­cal pow­ers against Wawrinka as he looked to be­come the first Swiss to win the Ja­pan Open since Roger Fed­erer in 2006.

Sev­eral times Wawrinka’s dip­ping one-handed back­hand, one of the most po­tent weapons in men’s ten­nis, whis­tled past a gri­mac­ing Paire, whose brave re­sis­tance fi­nally ended when he coughed up a dou­ble-fault on match point.

Wawrinka, who is a per­fect 4-0 in fi­nals this year and is one of four play­ers - along with Novak Djokovic, Andy Mur­ray and Fed­erer - al­ready qual­i­fied for next month’s sea­son-end­ing ATP Tour Fi­nals in Lon­don, con­fessed to hav­ing mixed feel­ings af­ter his vic­tory.

Stan Wawrinka of Switzer­land reaches for a re­turn against Benoit Paire of France dur­ing their men’s sin­gles fi­nal match at the Ja­pan Open ten­nis tour­na­ment in Tokyo, yesterday. PHOTO AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.