Wawrinka stares down defeat

Published by AP-AAP

Stan Wawrinka in action during his second-round victory over Sergiy Stakhovsky at the Open 13 in Marseille, France; Getty Images

Top-seeded Swiss star Stan Wawrinka hit 49 winners and saved two match points to reach the quarterfinals of the Open 13 in Marseille in a 6-4 4-6 7-6(8) win over Sergiy Stakhovsky on Wednesday.

The defending French Open champion was on the verge of defeat in the tiebreak but hit two big serves to stay in the match, and then sealed his win on his second match point with a backhand passing shot.

The fourth-ranked Swiss, who was beaten by Stakhovsky in Marseille last year, played his first match since losing in the Australian Open round of 16 to Milos Raonic.

Wawrinka was the leading big name playing but was joined in advancing by Marin Cilic and David Goffin, who both won their second round matches.

Goffin blew past German qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-1 2-0 (ret) but fourth-seed Cilic had to dig deep in a battle of big servers.

The Croatian took just over two hours to dispatch Dutch world No.64 Robin Haase 4-6 6-3 7-5.

Cilic pounded down 12 aces in the match, while Haase had five, Cilic only truly gaining the ascendancy when he broke serve at 5-5 in the final set.

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