ATP World Tour Finals: Stanislas Wawrinka makes winning start against Tomas Berdych
The top-eight players in the world are bidding for glory in east London
Monday 04 November 2013
Stanislas Wawrinka made a winning debut at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with victory over Tomas Berdych in the first group match at the O2 Arena.
The Swiss world number eight recovered from losing the second-set tie-break to love to win 6-3 6-7 (0/7) 6-3 in Group A as the tournament began its fifth year in London.
At 28, Wawrinka has put together the best season of his career, capped by a first grand slam semi-final appearance at the US Open.
He beat Berdych in the fourth round in New York and it was Wawrinka, backed by a vocal Swiss support, who made the better start.
Berdych has been in the top eight in London every year apart from the O2's debut in 2009 but he was struggling with his serve and his movement was a little sluggish.
Wawrinka made the breakthrough in the sixth game and was rock solid until he came to serve it out.
At that moment the seventh seed's nerve wobbled but he eventually clinched it on his fifth set point.
Berdych improved at the start of the second set and Wawrinka did well to force a tie-break, fighting back from 0-40 in the eighth game.
The tie-break was dominated by the Czech, though, Wawrinka failing to win a single point.
The physical toll of the season was evident as Wawrinka called for the trainer to have his thigh massaged in the decider, but by then he was already back ahead.
A break in the fourth game proved enough, with Wawrinka clinching victory on his first match point when Berdych hooked a forehand wide.
With matches against world number one Rafael Nadal and third seed David Ferrer to come, the victory was crucial to the Swiss number two's hopes of making the semi-finals.
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre