New York: In the heat of the moment, locked in a suddenly tight match after midnight at Flushing Meadows, Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka snapped at a rowdy spectator, telling him to "Shut up." An hour later, his 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1) victory over 91st-ranked Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil in the second round of the U.S. Open complete, Wawrinka was able to laugh about the exchange.
"At the end of the day, they start to get a little bit drunk," Wawrinka said at his news conference, shaking his head and chuckling. "It was OK. I had to talk to a few of them. At the end, it's normal. ... Everybody was into the match. That's OK. It can happen." In a match that began on Wednesday and finished after 12:30 a.m.
Stanislas Wawrinka celebrates his win over Thomaz Bellucci during their US Open 2014 match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center on Wednesday. Pic/AFP
Thursday, the third-seeded Wawrinka quickly built a two-set lead before faltering a bit, muttering aloud at himself after one miss: "Too many mistakes!" By the time he was in the grind of the fourth set, Wawrinka was talking directly to a fan who was bothering him, turning toward the Arthur Ashe Stadium stands and saying: "Shut up, man! Seriously, shut up."
Once his mind was back on the tennis, Wawrinka was fine. At the outset of the match, Wawrinka explained afterward, "It was comfortable, because I was playing really good tennis. I think I was serving big. I was moving really well and taking the ball early, dictating every point.
That's why it (looked) like not easy, but it (looked) good for me." Bellucci, a left-hander, was ranked as high as 21st in 2010, but arrived in New York with a record of only 11-10 this season. He entered Wednesday with a 5-19 record against opponents ranked in the top 10, including 0-9 on hard courts.