Stan Wawrinka hadn’t lost a final in three years, and he wasn’t about to let the streak go South on Saturday, defeating Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 7-6(13) in the championship of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
“I’m really happy to have another trophy,” said the Swiss after capturing his second of 2016 after Chenai. “It’s [an] 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.”
Baghdatis squandered an early break lead in the first set, and failed to convert on five set points in the second-set tiebreak.
“I think I was in control of the match until 3-2, then I got broken twice,” Baghdatis said. “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 [a] tiebreak. 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.”
The No. 2-seeded Wawrinka improved to 13-9 in finals after his ninth straight championship-round win.
“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,” he said. “It was tough conditions to play here, [the ball is] flying. It’s fast. Until 6-all in the tiebreak I was always up with mini-break. I think I hit two double faults and [made] three quick mistake. Then it started to be all about nerves.”
En route to the final the unseeded Baghdatis upset No. 5 Viktor Troicki, No. 4 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 6 Feliciano Lopez.
Baghdatis was looking for his first title since 2010 Sydney, and fell to 4-9 in title matches.
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