Italian Open 2022: Stan Wawrinka wins first match on tour in 15 months, downs Reilly Opelka in Rome

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Italian Open: Stanislas Wawrinka came up with a gritty and determined performance as he rallied back from behind to beat American Rielly Opelka in a 3-set battle in the Masters 1000 tournament in Rome.

Italian Open: Stan Wawrinka wins first match on tour in 15 months (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Stan Wawrinka stormed into the 3rd round at Italian Open
  • It was Wawrinka’s first win on the tour in 15 months
  • Wawrinka is a 3-time Grand Slam champion

3-time Grand Slam champion Stanislas Wawrinka clinched his first victory on the tour in 15 months as the 37-year-old defeated Reilly Opelka of the USA 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to reach the second round of the Italian Open on Monday. Wawrinka battled from behind and pulled off an incredible win in the Masters 1000 tournament in Rome.

In the match that lasted 2 hours and 5 minutes, Wawrinka showcased his trademark grit and determination. There were plenty of forehand winners and he fired his single-handed backhands to good effect.

Wawrinka was in trouble as he was trailing 2-4 in the second set after losing the first but the Swiss star rallied back, much to the delight of the crowd in Rome. Wawrinka was in complete control in the decider.

Wawrinka let out a loud roar, clenching his fists as he got the much-awaited victory on the tour.

The former French Open champion suffered a foot injury early in 2021 and had surgery in March last year before another operation three months later, only returning to action at a Challenger Tour tournament in Marbella in April.

In his first match on return to the tour, Wawrinka lost 3-6, 7-5, 2-6 to Alexander Bublik in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters in April.

Wawrinka, who seems to have finally put behind persistent injury woes and looking forward to returning to peak fitness, will take on the winner of Laslo Djere or Borna Coric.



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