Wawrinka Beats Baghdatis For Dubai Title
Swiss star lifts his 13th tour-level trophy in Dubai
Stan Wawrinka extended his winning streak in finals to nine matches on Saturday by capturing the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title.
Second seed Wawrinka, who hasn't lost a title match since the 2013 's-Hertogenbosch final (l. to Mahut), defeated Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 7-6(13) in one hour and 54 minutes for his 13th trophy (13-9 in finals). It was his second ATP World Tour title of the year, following his third straight Chennai title (d. Coric) in January, and his sixth straight victory over fellow 30-year-old Baghdatis. He has won his past nine finals.
|Active Player||Consecutive Finals Won|
|Roger Federer||24 (also 13 and 10)|
|Rafael Nadal||14 (9 twice)|
"It's an amazing end to the week," said Wawrinka. "It was [a] tough beginning, but I was always trying to fight, always trying to improve day by day even if I wasn't playing great at the beginning. I'm really happy to have another trophy. It's amazing feeling, especially today when I was playing some really good tennis. It was a tough final against Marcos. We always play some tough match."
The Swiss earned 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $511,750 in prize money. He has a 13-2 match record in 2016.
Wawrinka is the fifth active player to have won nine of more finals in a row, following in the footsteps of Roger Federer (24, also 13 and 10), Rafael Nadal (14, also 9 twice), Novak Djokovic (9) and Tommy Haas (9).
Baghdatis, appearing in his 13th tour-level final, broke Wawrinka for a 3-2 lead in the first set, but immediately lost his serve to love. At 4-5, Baghdatis battled hard from 0/40, but Wawrinka managed to clinch the 42-minute opener on his fifth set point opportunity.
There were no breaks of serve in the second set, which was decided on a tie-break. Wawrinka took a 4/1 lead, but Baghdatis won five of the next six points. Wawrinka saved five set points at 5/6, 7/8, 8/9, 9/10 and 11/12, while Baghdatis saved three match points at 6/7, 10/11 and 12/13.
"I think in general it was a good level," said Wawrinka. "It was tough conditions to play here, [the ball is] flying. It's fast. Until 6-all in the tie-break I was always up with mini break. I think I hit two double faults and three quick mistake. Then it started to be all about nerves. You know, 6/6, 7/7, 10/10. You try to stay there. Try to play simple, aggressive. It was good to finish it in two sets."
World No. 57 Baghdatis, who won his last title at 2010 Sydney (d. Gasquet), is now 4-9 in title matches. The Cypriot takes home 300 points and $240,340.
"I think I was in control of the match until 3-2, then I got broken twice," said Baghdatis. "Then I think I played much better in the second set. I was more in control of myself. I found a way to get it to tie-break. I think I was a bit unlucky there. But I think more matches throughout the year at this level would make me go in there and believe from the beginning that I can win, not wait three, four games and start believing. So I think that was the difference today. I could see a bit more experience from Stan playing at this level at these big tournaments."
Wawrinka came within two points of losing to Sergiy Stakhovsky in the first round, which he won 7-5 in the third set. He had previous made first-round exits in 2007 (l. to Federer) and 2008 (l. to Hajek).