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By Chris Oddo | Wednesday May 23, 2018

 
Stan Wawrinka

Two-time defending champion Stan Wawrinka muscled past Jared Donaldson in straight sets on Wednesday at the Geneva Open.

Photo Source: Getty

The big, bad backhand was in effect, the intensity was palpable and the crowd loved every minute of it on Wednesday at the Geneva Open.

Also Read: Four Burning Questions for the Men at Roland Garros

Hometown favorite Stan Wawrinka won his ninth consecutive match, blasting past American Jared Donaldson, 6-3, 6-4, to book his spot in the quarterfinals. The two-time Geneva champion has now won nine straight at the event, and if today is any indication he could be headed for a third straight trophy.

It would certainly be a nice confidence-builder for Wawrinka after a season of struggle and fits and starts, thanks to a double knee surgery last season that left him unfit as the season started.

Wawrinka gave it a go in Australia and on the hard courts of Europe before temporarily pulling the plug in February to continue rehab and processing what he had learned during a stretch that saw him go 3-4 and leave the court in tears after falling to Ilya Ivashka in Marseille.

Since then Wawrinka has reunited with his ace in the hole, coach Magnus Norman, and worked hard to be fit. He took the court last week for the first time in three months and fell to American Steve Johnson in straight sets but this time there were no tears—Wawrinka was enthused even in defeat, and he has taken the next step this week in Geneva with his sterling effort against Donaldson on Wednesday.


“I'm happy with my match today. I felt good out there. This will be the first time in a while that I play back-to-back matches. I like to play in front of the Swiss crowd and the fans have always given me great support here,” Wawrinka said, according to ATPWorldTour.com.

Wawrinka needed just 68 minutes to coast past the 57th-ranked American and he did not face a break point while winning 30 of 37 first-serve points and converting two of six break points.

And yes, the backhand was on point:


Wawrinka’s victory sets up a quarterfinal with Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. The 26-year-old worked past Frances Tiafoe, 7-6(5), 6-4 on Wednesday.

Other winners on a rainy day in Geneva were second-seeded Fabio Fognini, who needed three sets to take down American Noah Rubin, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-2, and 7th-seeded Andreas Seppi, who worked past Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles, 7-5, 6-3.

American Tennys Sandgren was also a winner, 6-3, 6-2, over Mirza Basic.

Top-seeded Sam Querrey had his match with Guido Pella postponed. He’ll face Pella early tomorrow and then face either Lukas Rosol or Steve Johnson (also postponed on Wednesday) later in quarterfinal action.

 

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