ATP Rome: Stan Wawrinka wins his first match in 15 months (3-6, 7-5, 6-2) against Reilly Opelka in the 1st round

The third attempt was successful. Stan Wawrinka experienced great happiness on Monday in Rome by rediscovering the taste of victory on the circuit, 15 months after his last success in the 1st round of the Australian Open 2021. And with the way that is more, since the Swiss overthrew a member of the Top 20, the American giant Reilly Opelka (17th) on the score of 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 in 2h05 of play. In the 2nd round, he will be opposed to Borna Coric or Laslo Djere for try to chain.

It’s a game that could be a milestone in Stan Wawrinka’s comeback attempt. Led by a set and a break by the great server Reilly Opelka, the Vaudois showed a very interesting mental resistance to reverse the trend, finding at the same time very good sensations and a speed of movement in net progress. He thus saw his choice to ignore Madrid to prepare more physically pay off.

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Rediscovered liveliness in the relaunch and passing

Still too inconstant, Wawrinka thought he had missed his chance. A break conceded in each set at 3-2 against him in the first and 2-2 in the second, and Opelka seemed to be heading for victory (3-6, 2-4). But he never gave up and regained a liveliness and precision in passing that allowed him to twice seize the opposing gun service at 3-4, then at 6-5 to equalize at one set everywhere. Each time, the Swiss found himself at 0/40, saw the American return to height, before making the difference on his 4th opportunity.

Much more comfortable with the recovery and in anticipation as the match progressed, Wawrinka also used the backhand slice wisely to force Opelka to bend his long legs. And the dynamic has totally shifted in his favor. By winning the last four games, he finished the game in a cannonball. A very good sign for the future.

The story ends here for Dominic Thiem. The Austrian, another returning from the spring after being away from the courts for ten months, injured in the right wrist, did not manage to do as well. The 28-year-old player (162nd) was combative but conceded his fifth defeat in five matches in front of the Italian Fabio Fognini (57th) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in 1h53.


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