Stan Completes Chennai Three-Peat
Kicking off the ATP World Tour season with a title is a special feeling. For Stan Wawrinka, it's tradition.
World No. 4 Wawrinka topped 19-year-old Borna Coric 6-3, 7-5 in the final of the Aircel Chennai Open on Sunday, capturing his fourth tournament title.
The Swiss, who takes home $75,700 in prize money and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points, extended his run of dominance in Chennai to a 12-match win streak, including 24 consecutive sets won. He completed the first three-peat in tournament history, becoming the ninth different active player to do so at an ATP World Tour event. The 30 year old notched his 12th tour-level crown overall and eighth on hard courts.
"I'm really happy to win the match the way I played today," said Wawrinka. "Again it was in two sets as it has been all tournament. The crowd was amazing. They give amazing support every year.
"I'm always trying to improve. I'm trying to move better, trying to play more aggressive with a better forehand and serve better. I'm very happy with my serve this week. I'm happy to get the trophy again. It's a great feeling."
Wawrinka would dispel any thoughts of an upset, converting his first break point in the sixth game of the first set, taking a 4-2 lead. A determined Coric pressed for an immediate break back, but the World No. 4 Swiss would dig in his heels, denying five break chances. He eventually closed out the opener after 40 minutes, striking 17 winners. In the second set, they remained on serve until the 11th game, when Wawrinka struck a sublime backhand winner down the line to snatch the decisive break. He would seal the victory a game later after one hour and 27 minutes. In total, the Lausanne native fired 15 aces, winning 34 of 38 points on his first serve.
Coric, meanwhile, was eyeing a maiden ATP World Tour title in his first final. The 19 year old enjoyed a strong week in Chennai, having won a trio of three-set matches entering the final. He edged Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Roberto Bautista Agut in deciding sets, before overcoming 2015 runner-up Aljaz Bedene after nearly three hours. It has been nearly eight years since the last teen triumphed on the circuit, when countryman Marin Cilic prevailed in New Haven 2008.
Wawrinka now leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head 3-0, previously notching wins in last year's Chennai second round and at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati. Coric, the highest-ranked teen in the Emirates ATP Rankings at World No. 44, was seeking a third Top 10 victory.
"It was a great week for me here," said Coric. "I arrived a couple days before the event and got some great practise in the heat. Obviously facing Stan in my first final was a tough challenge. Nevertheless I'm very happy with my week and the start into the season."