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Wawrinka Powers Through Opener

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Wawrinka© Getty ImagesStanislas Wawrinka reached the third round in just 46 minutes.

Stanislas Wawrinka made a statement of intent in his opening second-round match at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Wednesday, blasting past the in-form Marin Cilic 6-0, 6-2 in just 46 minutes.

The third-seeded Wawrinka lost just six points on serve and broke Cilic five times from seven opportunities. He improved to a 6-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Cilic, who has won two ATP World Tour titles this season in Zagreb (d. Haas) and Delray Beach (d. Anderson).

"I practised perfectly before," said Wawrinka. "I expected a more difficult or more complicated first round against him. But I was able, as I said, to practise well before. I felt good on the court. I know that physically if I feel good, then I am able to put a lot of pressure on the opponent. 

"Now the clay court season is just starting and I'm always very pumped up for this particular moment of the year. I'm aware of my strengths, and I know that I must practise a lot and prepare well."

The 29-year-old Wawrinka is looking to follow up winning his first Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open (d. Nadal) by claiming his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown; he has twice been a runner-up in Rome 2009 and Madrid 2013. The Swiss reached the semi-finals at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in 2009 (l. to Djokovic) and has been a quarter-finalist in the past two years.

Wawrinka goes on to face 15th-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who defeated Nicolas Mahut 7-6(3), 6-3 in one hour and 36 minutes. Wawrinka has a 6-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over Almagro.

Another Spaniard triumphed over a Frenchman when 11th seed Tommy Robredo defeated Julien Benneteau 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 to set a third-round clash with Milos Raonic.

Fresh from winning his third ATP World Tour title in Casablanca last week (d. Granollers), Guillermo Garcia-Lopez maintained his good form as he upset 17th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 7-5 in 77 minutes. Dolgopolov has been one of the standout players in the first quarter of the season, but dropped to a 19-10 match record. Garcia-Lopez goes on to face fifth seed Tomas Berdych.

Lucky loser Pablo Carreno Busta was the fourth Spanish winner on Wednesday as he rounded out the day’s action with a 6-3, 7-6(6) victory over French hope Gael Monfils. Carreno Busta was granted a spot in the main draw after Richard Gasquet withdrew and made the most of his chance when he beat Ivan Dodig in the first round.

The 22 year old, who was named Most Improved Player of the Year in 2013, goes on to face second seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic. He will be looking to record his first Top 10 win.

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