Swiss reaches QFs in Paris for second consecutive year

Stan Wawrinka appears to be honing his game just in time for the latter stages of Roland Garros. The Swiss moved into the quarter-finals in Paris for the third time in four years on Sunday, bypassing Serbian Viktor Troicki 7-6(5), 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2 in three hours on Philippe Chatrier Court.

The defending Roland Garros champion used powerful serving – 19 aces – and opportunistic tennis to reach the final eight in Paris for the second consecutive season. He brings a favourable FedEx ATP Head2Head record into his next match as well: Wawrinka is 6-0 against unseeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who beat Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

“It’s a great victory for me. I was trying to just stay calm with myself, find my game all over the match,” Wawrinka said. “I managed to play better, I managed to find solutions.”

Wawrinka entered Sunday’s fourth-round match having not lost a set since his five-set battle against Lukas Rosol in the first round. But Troicki proved to be a tricky opponent early in their contest. He erased four break points to force a first-set tie-break. Wawrinka prevailed, though, and looked to have complete control of the match with an early break in the second.

But Troicki ran off the next four games to lead 4-1 before Wawrinka recovered to 4-all. Troicki, looking to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final, evened the match on his fifth set point opportunity in the second-set tie-break.

The final two sets were all Wawrinka, though, as the third seed earned a break in the third and two in the final set. Wawrinka has now won eight consecutive matches, dating back to his title run two weeks ago in Geneva. His home title run marked the first time Wawrinka had reached the semi-finals of a clay-court tournament this season.

“Although the match was rather long, I know that I didn’t expend any intellectual energy that much, because I was very serene. I was at peace with myself,” Wawrinka said. “Being in the quarter-finals again is great. Of course I don’t want to stop there, but I also want to enjoy what’s happening.”

Troicki, No. 24 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, fell to 0-5 in fourth-round matches at Grand Slams, including 0-3 at Roland Garros (2011 l. to Murray, 2013 l. to Tsonga). The Serbian, who swept Gilles Simon in the third round, also dropped to 4-19 against Top 20 opponents at Grand Slams.