Dubai, Feb 28 (IANS) Swiss World No.4 Stan Wawrinka won the Dubai Tennis Championships 6-4, 7-6 (13) after an hour and 54 minutes against World No.57 Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus here.
The Swiss needed four matchpoints in the tie-break of the second set to bring victory home on Saturday, reports Xinhua.
The players, both 30, started at almost the same level and dared some spectacular shots but the Cypriot committed more unforced errors than the World No.4. However, Baghdatis had more support from the audience in the not-completely sold-out Aviation Club. “Marcos! Marcos!” many were shouting while the few Swiss fans were rarely audible.
His first break at 3-2 was quickly re-broken by the Swiss as Wawrinka who showed more precision and endurance in standard situations. Both elite players appeared to be exhausted, the Cypriot in particular as he needed three sets against Spaniard Feliciano Lopez to win Friday’s second semi-final.
Followed by Argentine football legend Diego Maradona from the tribune of honour, the match remained on a medium level with rare breathtaking shots.
It was also a fair encounter when at the start of the second set, the Lausanne-born smashed a high volley and hit the Cypriot with his white headband in his stomach. The Swiss immediately apologised under loud applause of the audience. The two opponents almost mutually avoided direct attacks at the net and relied on their baseline shots.
The second set was almost a photocopy of the first round and the two headed into the inevitable tie-break.
Wawrinka cashed in $511,750 and fireworks enlightened the sky above the stadium.
“It was a tough match and I am really happy to win this year’s Dubai Championships. Marcos played a great game and I thank everybody who came here,” said Wawrinka.