Tennis

Wawrinka beats No. 3-ranked Ruud to advance in Swiss Indoors

Wawrinka beats No. 3-ranked Ruud to advance in Swiss Indoors
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BASEL, Switzerland — On a stellar day for veteran Grand Slam champions, Stan Wawrinka beat third-ranked Casper Ruud and Andy Murray rallied to win in three sets in the first round of the Swiss Indoors on Tuesday.

Wawrinka, 37, hit his ninth ace to seal a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ruud, who was the US Open runner-up last month, and delight his home crowd.

Wawrinka is now ranked No. 194 after persistent injury problems, but the win was his second over a top-five opponent in five weeks. He beat fourth-ranked Daniil Medvedev last month in Metz, France.

« I fought despite the injuries. I wanted to come and play in front of you, » Wawrinka said in a tearful on-court interview, thanking fans for their support.

Murray, like Wawrinka a former US Open champion, earlier won 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 against Roman Safiullin after the Russian led 4-1 in the final set.

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Murray, a 35-year-old Scottish player who has won two Wimbledon titles, reeled off five straight games to complete the victory after more than 2½ hours on court. It was his first game in Basel since 2005.

« I changed the way I was returning a little bit, and when I did that I was able to create a few more opportunities and frustrate him a little bit, » No. 49-ranked Murray said.

Wawrinka first played in Basel 19 years ago but has never gone beyond the semifinals at the event won by hometown favorite Roger Federer a record 10 times.

Wawrinka next plays Brandon Nakashima of the United States. He could face Murray in the quarterfinals.

Another Swiss winner was 20-year-old Dominic Stricker, who beat American Maxime Cressy 7-6 (4), 6-3. Stricker, a wild-card entry ranked No. 129, next faces Pablo Carreno Busta. The Spanish player, seeded fifth, beat Sebastian Baez 6-2, 6-1.

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