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Wawrinka recovers poise with classy win

AFP logoAFP 18-01-2017

Melbourne - Stan Wawrinka got his Australian Open campaign back on track with an unruffled straight-sets win over American Steve Johnson to reach the third round on Wednesday.

The 2014 winner bounced back from his too-close-for-comfort five-set opening round triumph over Martin Klizan with a more accomplished performance against the 30th-ranked Johnson.

The Swiss fourth seed rolled through a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win in 1hr 52min, with no breaks of serve and dominating the rallies.

Wawrinka will next play either Serbian Viktor Troicki or Italian Paolo Lorenzi.

"I played at a great level and I'm really happy with my focus to get into the third round," Wawrinka said. "I was feeling the ball better today and I made him play a lot. I was happy with my serve in general."

It was in contrast to his tight first-round win over Klizan, when he was booed for smashing a volley straight at the static Slovak in the fifth set.

He broke Johnson's big serve with his signature one-handed backhand in the sixth game before bringing up three set points.

The Swiss claimed another service break with a forehand winner to go two sets up after a 42-minute battle.

Another delightful cross-court backhand claimed another service break in the third game of the final set and he sailed to three match points, converting the second.

Among Wawrinka's three Grand Slam titles is his win over Rafael Nadal in Melbourne three years ago, when he became the first player to defeat the top two seeds en route to a major title since Spaniard Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

Wawrinka also won 2015 French Open and last year's US Open, both times conquering Novak Djokovic.


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