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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday July 29, 2023

Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka eased past Italy's Lorenzo Sonego to book a spot in Sunday's Umag final.

Photo Source: TTV

He may be past his 38th birthday, but that doesn’t mean that Swiss legend Stan Wawrinka is done gunning for ATP titles.

On Saturday at the Croatia Open in Umag, the man they call the "Stanimal" took another step in that direction, defeating second-seeded Lorenzo Sonego, 6-3, 6-4, to book a final clash with Alexei Popyrin of Australia on the red clay of Croatia.

Tennis Express

“Thank you for staying so late,” Wawrinka told the packed crowd after the 86-minute contest had concluded, well after midnight. “It was, again, amazing to be playing in front of you. I'm super happy to be back tomorrow for the final.”

72nd-ranked Wawrinka reaches his 31st career final and will bid for title number 17 on Sunday. He improves to 20-13 on the season and 10-3 at Umag – Wawrinka won the title at Umag 17 years ago.

Wawrinka cracked five aces and won 27 of 32 first-serve points against Sonego, saving the only break point he faced.

The Swiss reaches his first ATP final since 2019 on Antwerp; his last title came at Geneva in 2017.

Earlier on Saturday, Popyrin took out Matteo Arnaldi, 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-3, in three hours and 16 minutes to reach his first clay-court final at ATP level, and second overall.

Popyrin and Wawrinka have never faced one another before.


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