Chennai: World No 4 Stan Wawrinka's love affair with Chennai continues. The Swiss sledgehammer, winner of the 2014 and 2015 titles, is gunning for a hat-trick at this year's ATP Aircel Chennai Open. He made short work of Andrei Rublev of Russia, winning in a canter 6-3, 6-2 at the Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium yesterday.
Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka serves to Russia's Andrey Rublev at the Chennai Open yesterday. Pic/PTI
The 30-year-old from Lausanne now runs into Guillermo Garcia Lopez of Spain in the quarter-finals. Wawrinka has the best single hander backhand in the game. American tennis's superstar of yesteryears, John McEnroe, described Wawrinka's backhand as "the most brutal stroke in men's tennis."
Yes an entire poem can be written about the Swiss's backhand. In a fluent swing he smashes the ball cross court or down the line for clean winners. One particular shot in the second set had the crowd awestruck as he struck a marvelous backhand cross court winner from deep behind the baseline.
"I am happy to be back here. It's a great tournament. People are very friendly. I played a really solid game for the first match ," stressed Stan.
He feels the Kevein Anderson withdrawal will not affect him. "It doesn't matter to me. I am thinking of just playing the next opponent. The final is a long way away. My next opponent Garcia Lopez is a very dangerous player. He has beaten me on clay and I will have to play my A game to beat him," opined the Swiss maestro.
'Not thinking of Rio'
Wawrinka does not have Rio on his mind. "The Olympics are still six months away. It's to early to be thinking about the Games. I don't know whether I will be playing singles or doubles."
Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are loved wherever they play in the world. "The Swiss players are very popular, Roger, myself and of course in the women you have Martina Hingis, Belinda Bencic and Patty Schnyder, who is making a second comeback," he explained.
Somdev Devvarman and entered the doubles quarter-finals with partner Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan yesterday. Somdev-Nedunchezhiyan beat Nicholas Monroe and Hans Podlipinik-Castill in a thriller 4-6 6-3 10-5.