Stan Wawrinka showed on Thursday evening in Metz why he deserved the nickname ‘Stan The Man’.
Despite dropping a match point in the second set, former world number 3 Daniil Medvedev stunned 6-4, 6-7 (7) and 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open. It was the 37-year-old’s first Top 10 win since the 2020 Rolex Paris Masters against Andrey Rublev.
It all seemed to go wrong when the Swiss star missed his chance to close the match in the second set tiebreak. At 6/5, both players remained neutral in the rally and hit the ball by margin in the center of the field. Wawrinka broke that pattern by trying to rip a backhand, which he misplaced and pulled wide.
When Medvedev clawed through the tiebreaker to force a decision, the momentum was completely on the side of the former world No. But Wawrinka turned it back in his favor by taking a 3-0 lead in the final set.
“At the end of the tiebreak I was a little frustrated because I was starting to hesitate a little bit about my shots,” Wawrinka said in his on-field interview. “He’s one of the best defensive players, so if you don’t go all the way through the ball without thinking too much and it’s hard. I’ve made a few mistakes but I think overall it’s a super good level of was me. I’m super happy with the win.”
Medvedev fought hard to get back on serve and saved another match point when Wawrinka served for the game at 5-3. But the three-time big winner held back his guts to prevail after two hours and 21 minutes. With his win, the Swiss star has brought his ATP Head2Head series against Medvedev to 2-2.
“We always have some great fights,” Wawrinka said. “He’s at the top of the league table. One of the best players and nicest person off the field, so it’s always great to play against each other.”
Wawrinka then plays against Swede Mikael Ymer, who eliminated home favorite Gregoire Barrere 6-4, 6-3.
In another blockbuster matchup earlier in the day, second seed Hubert Hurkacz defeated former world No. 3 Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 16 minutes. The Pole hit 12 aces and saved the two breakpoints he saw.
Thiem started the competition in good shape after reaching an ATP Challenger Tour final in Rennes last week, beating Richard Gasquet in the first round in Metz. But Hurkacz played too well on the day to take a 3-0 lead in their ATP Head2Head series, setting up a clash against Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, who defeated Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6(11), 6- 3 expelled.
Another Frenchman, former Top 10 star Gilles Simon, was unable to continue during his last performance in Metz. Italian Lorenzo Sonego defeated Simon 7-6(2), 6-4 and then takes on American Sebastian Korda, who advanced on Wednesday.
Did you know?
All three of Wawrinka and Medvedev’s previous games have come to majors. Their ATP Head2Head series is now at 2-2.