Fallout of Reilly Opelka at the Masters 1000 in Rome, Stan Wawrinka regains victory fifteen months after his last success

He had been waiting for this for fifteen months. More than a year after his last victory against Pedro Sousa on February 8, 2021 at the Australian Open, Stan Wawrinka, long sidelined due to a foot injury, found his way back to success on Monday in defeating Reilly Opelka (17th in the world) in the first round of the Masters 1000 in Rome (3-6, 7-5, 6-2).

The 37-year-old three-time Grand Slam winner initially had a frustrating first set. Giving up his serve in the sixth game on his only conceded break point, the Swiss failed to catch up against the overpowering shots of the American giant and dropped the first set in just over half an hour (3-6) .

Despite two break points at the start of the second set, the scenario seemed to repeat itself for Wawrinka, who was broken in the sixth game. But after saving a double break point in stride, the Swiss finally managed to take the serve of the ‘American to get back in the game. Despite five new chances in return, Opelka failed to break the current 361st player in the world and it was finally Wawrinka who pocketed the second on his fourth set point (3-6, 7-5).

A one-sided third set

Released, the former third player in the world could finally let go of his blows and in particular his terrible backhand, which ended up cracking Opelka in a one-sided third round (3-6, 7-5, 6-2). Back on the circuit since the end of March and a defeat at the Marbella Challenger, Wawrinka lost in the first round of the Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo in April. He is now taking a step forward in his reconstruction and will face the winner of the match between Serbian Laslo Djere (58th) and Croatian Borna Coric (262nd) in the second round.

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