Portugal Open 2013: Win Sets Up Stanislas Wawrinka for Success at French Open
Stanislas Wawrinka is peaking at the perfect time—finally.
By defeating David Ferrer, 6-1, 6-4, at the Portugal Open on Sunday afternoon, the 28-year old Switzerland native recorded his fourth career ATP tournament win, and first since January of 2011.
And I think it's safe to say he was just a little pumped about the victory (via his Twitter account):
But it isn't just the fact that Wawrinka was able to raise the trophy in Oeiras—it was how he did it.
He thoroughly dominated Ferrer in every aspect of the match. He won a staggering 85.7 percent of his service points, giving up just six total on the day. He broke the Spaniard three times and never even faced a break point himself. He won 59 points to a minuscule 38 for Ferrer.
Wawrinka completely dictated the play from start to finish, working from the baseline and keeping Ferrer on the defense with some powerful forehand shots.
The match was over in 65 minutes—quick, succinct, decisive, efficient.
It's not as if Ferrer was some pushover either—he entered the match as the No. 4 player in the world with two tour wins and four finals appearances in 2013 alone. Moreover, his agile, defensive style tends to lead to plenty of success on clay.
Yet, Wawrinka took care of him with ease, thus turning an already encouraging year into an increasingly monumental one.
Despite losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Monte Carlo a couple of weeks ago in a hard-fought, three-set match, Wawrinka came away as a winner. His 58-minute thrashing of Andy Murray in the third round sent the tennis world into utter shock.
Additionally, he drove World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to the brink at the Australian Open back in January.
Of course, these results don't just suggest Wawrinka is finally beginning to hit his enormous potential physically but that he is gaining the mental confidence he has so often lacked (via James Buddell at EstorilOpen.net):
It is going to be tough to return to the Top 10, but I am definitely playing better than last year and I am improving. Today, I got the confidence that I can beat a Top 4 player in a final, on a clay court."
It's all coming together for Wawrinka, and at the very least, a first quarterfinal appearance at the French Open is unquestionably on the horizon.
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