Tuesday, 21 May, 2019

Sandgren Upsets Wawrinka At Australian Open

Stan Wawrinka celebrates after tasting victory on his return against Ricardas Berankis Stan Wawrinka celebrates after tasting victory on his return against Ricardas Berankis
Shannon Reynolds | 19 January, 2018, 05:36

The Swiss former champion, seeded ninth, beat Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-3 6-4 2-6 7-6 (2) in his first competitive match for six months to set up a second-round clash with American Tennys Sandgren. In fact, Wawrinka didn't commit to the tournament until a day before it began, so he seemed fated for an early exit.

Temperature was the theme of the day, as it reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit at the height of the afternoon.

Play got underway on schedule at 11 a.m. local time (0000 GMT) at Melbourne Park, where the temperature was already well above 30 degrees Celsius and forecast to hit 40.

Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam victor, admitted he was nowhere near full fitness and so it proved in his second round tie, as he was hammered 6-2 6-1 6-4 by the world No. 97. Wawrinka will strategically continue his comeback to the ATP World Tour.

Julien Benneteau took the Belgian seventh seed out 1-6 7-6 6-1 7-6 in a tight encounter.

Djokovic said that he was having a hard time with the heat, as was Monfils.

"It's never easy to feel that way on the court", Wawrinka said. "Really tough conditions - brutal".

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Federer, 36, remains on course to seal his 20th grand slam title and will face Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the third round. Marterer pulled out a tough win against Fernando Verdasco in a five-set romp, propelling him to the round of 32.

Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei ousted reigning Wimbledon champion and third seed Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (1) 6-4 in the second round. Karolina Pliskova looked utterly dominant in a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Top-seeded Simona Halep cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Eugenie Bouchard to advance to the third round of the Australian Open. No. 9 Johanna Konta was bounced by US player Bernarda Pera in another upset.

Wawrinka won here in 2014, at the French Open the following year and the U.S. Open in '16.

Angelique Kerber won on her birthday as well, sweeping Donna Vekic 6-4, 6-1.

"This would definitely be (the biggest match)", Sandgren said of his win over Wawrinka. Her birthday gift? A blockbuster clash with 2008 victor Maria Sharapova in the next round.

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