Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka returned in fine style to the US Open tennis tournament for the first time since winning the 2016 title by defeating Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.
After undergoing two surgeries on his left knee, Wawrinka returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time since winning his third Grand Slam title and history repeated itself on Monday as he meted out a first round defeat for the second consecutive time to the current champion of the ATP finals in a Grand Slam tourney.
The Swiss player overcame Dimitrov in all aspects of the match, with proof of that to be found in the fact that he needed only two hours 24 minutes to move on to the second round, reports Efe news agency.
Wawrinka, who is now 4-4 in his matchups with the Bulgarian, hit 30 winners, including six aces, and left Dimitrov in the dust with consecutive first round eliminations in Grand Slam tourneys for the first time in five years.
At the beginning of this season, at Wimbledon, the 33-year-old Wawrinka had staged a comeback after losing the first set to eliminate Dimitrov 1-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-4.
The former US Open champ has managed to reach the quarter-finals or better in each of his four earlier participations in the season’s last Grand Slam event since 2013.
With three service breaks in the first two sets, Wawrinka quickly established control over the match, showing excellent form and building on his great outings in recent ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tourneys in Toronto and Cincinnati.
Dimitrov, 27, falls to 8-8 in his US Open matches, achieving his best results in 2014 and 2016 when he lost in the quarter-finals to Gael Monfils and Andy Murray, respectively.
Wawrinka will now go up against France’s Ugo Humbert, who defeated American Collin Altamirano 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 to earn a place in the third round.>