Geneva, May 22 (IANS) Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka gave himself a much-needed boost as he prepares to defend his French Open tennis title, defeating Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-6 (13-11) to win the Geneva Open.
The top seed and World No.4 bounced back from early-round defeats in World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court events in Madrid and Rome to claim victory on his home turf, where he appeared to find his groove on the slower surface in the nick of time.
After winning hard-court events in Chennai and Dubai earlier this year, Wawrinka’s dip in form was clearly evident in the lead up to the French Open, which gets under way on Sunday.
With his victory in Saturday’s final, the 31-year-old Wawrinka recorded his 10th win in 12 matches against the 2014 US Open champion — who had defeated Spain’s David Ferrer in the semi-finals — and won the 14th title of his career.
The Swiss had to struggle to close out the contest, saving five set points in the tiebreaker, three of them on his opponent’s serve.
Wawrinka beat Novak Djokovic in last year’s French Open final, handing the Serbian World No. 1 his only defeat in a Grand Slam match in 2015.