Wawrinka to meet Baghdatis in Dubai Championships final
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 27, 2016 06:40 AM
Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland returns the ball to Franko Skugor from Croatia during the 3rd day of Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
SANDRA HARWITT, Associated Press
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Stan Wawrinka will play for his second title of the year when he faces Marcos Baghdatis in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Wawrinka advanced when Nick Kyrgios retired with a back injury while trailing 6-4, 3-0 in the semifinals.
The Swiss player will meet the unseeded Baghdatis, who came from a set down to beat sixth-seeded Feliciano Lopez 3-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1.
"He's an unbelievable player," Baghdatis said of Wawrinka, who won his third straight Chennai Open title last month. "I think he has a better percentage of winning tomorrow, that's for sure. He's having his best years of his life. Winning two Grand Slams, that's amazing."
For the second day in a row, Kyrgios received treatment on his back during a match. On Friday, the physiotherapist came to the court during the seventh game changeover.
Last week, the 20-year-old Kyrgios became the youngest active player to win an ATP Tour title in Marseille.
"It's been bothering me the last couple of days," Kyrgios said. "I had a bit of a hip injury at the start of Marseille. That was still sort of bothering me a little bit. I have been feeling so bad every day, like I've got some viral infection, as well."
Kyrgios is the second significant retirement in two days after Novak Djokovic retired from his quarterfinal match with an eye infection on Thursday.
Wawrinka took a 4-1 lead in the first set, but Kyrgios fought back to even the score at 4-4. Wawrinka won the final five games before the Australian's retirement.
"He wasn't really there from the beginning, wasn't serving his best," Wawrinka said. "You never know what to expect, because again, as you see when he broke me back at 3-4, he was playing really well."
The Swiss player was two points away from losing in the first round against Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine.
"If you look from the beginning of the week I was not playing great at all," Wawrinka said. "But I could still improve, and I'm happy I did."