Tennis: Classy Wawrinka bags Chennai Open crown

Chennai, Jan 5: Stanislas Wawrinka played like a champion and true to his top billing while outclassing seventh seeded Frenchman Eduard Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-2, in the singles final of the Aircel Chennai Open,here Sunday.

Wawrinka, the 28-year old Swiss and ranked No.8, picked up $72,490 and 250 ATP Tour points while Roger-Vasselin went home richer by $38,180 and 150 points on conclusion of the one hour, 35-minute final.

Frederik Nielsen (Denmark) and Johan Brurnstrom (Sweden) won the doubles title defeating Croatian pair of Marin Draganja and Mate Pavic 6-2, 4-6 (10-7) in the final.

In celebrating his 500th Tour singles match with his 302nd win and fifth title, Wawrinka underlined his growing stature that saw him break into top 10 for the first time last year as he weaved his one-handed magic to force the Frenchman into errors while himself blasting a stream of breathtaking winners.

In contrast, the 30-year old Roger-Vasselin, playing only his second tour final in 12 seasons since turning pro and still in quest of maiden title, appeared drained from the two back-to-back three-set matches.

He did, though, show some flashes of brilliance that had seen him move to 48 last season before ending the year at 52.

Wawrinka was at his aggressive best and having come through to the final without dropping a set, was obviously the fresher of the two and played a near-flawless tennis, especially in the second set to win his second Chennai Open title after 2011.

Roger-Vasselin played well enough in the first set to stay level with Wawrinka until 5-5 after surviving three break points in the third game. The Swiss, who never faced a break point, finally broke the Frenchman in the 10th game for 6-5 and then held serve to take the set in 57 minutes.

Wawrinka, a sparring partner of fellow Swiss Roger Federer, stepped up the pace in the second that he began with a break of serve in the first game and another in the fifth en route to a comprehensive win.

An elated Wawrinka, who had lost to Roger-Vasselin last year in Basel, said after the match that he hoped to improve further.

“Obviously, this is special, to win my fifth title. I had a good 2013 and had an amazing week here. I will practice hard and do my best to win more matches in 2014.

“I was expecting a tough match. I had lost to him last year. So I had to focus on my game. It was a special match. I think I served well when I needed and was aggressive.

“Every win is special. In 2011, I was No.3 seed, but I came here this time as No.8 and I guess there was some pressure on me.

“My best start for the year and I am playing at my best. But it is just the first week and I have to keep going. I have to keep pushing myself,” said Wawrinka.

Roger-Vasselin hoped that he would win a tour title soon, after missing out twice in his career.

“It was tough losing the final and hopefully, I will win a tournament soon. I tried everything tonight, but Stan was just too good and didn’t give me any chance.

“After this final, I can say I had an amazing week,” said Roger-Vasselin who will fly to Sydney Sunday night for his next tournament.

IANS