Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Stan in semis in style

Stan Wawrinka, the fourth seed and 2014 Aus Open champion, had an appointment with twelfth seed and 2008 Aus Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first men's singles quarter final.
Stan had beaten unseeded Seppi in three tie break sets in the fourth round, and Jo-Wilfried took four sets to overcome Evans, also unseeded.

Tsonga served first and had no trouble holding serve, as was the pattern for the first three games.
Stan was not so happy with the start of game four where he had 0-30. Three Tsonga errors brought it back to game point but deuce won out.  A better forehand from Stan was a winner and a big serve convinced everyone to stop the game and register 2-2 on the scoreboard.

Another three games to the server left Tsonga 4-3.

The next two games were highlighted by points win at the net by both players as a tie break appeared closer on the horizon.

At 5-5 Tsonga had a few worries losing the first two points but recovered thanks to a backhand volley and solid groundstrokes forcing Wawrinka errors.
Wawrinka served the set into a tie break and dominated it, hitting winners from both sides, and keeping errors to a minimum. Seven points to two and the set was won 7-6.

Wawrinka served first in set two.  In game three, a Tsonga forehand forced Stan into error and 15-40, but the break points were both saved and the fourth seed held serve for 2-1.
Two ripping Wawrinka forehands propelled him to 3-2 and a stellar backhand in the following Tsonga service game put slight pressure on the French player.  Only slight though and the scores were brought together again.  3-3.

At 40-15 Stan lost focus and an unforced error and double fault left him exposed at deuce.  Tsonga hit a backhand winner to create a break point, and a bad forehand from Stan cost him the serve, giving Tsonga a 4-3 lead.

Straight away Stan had three break back points, two from French mistakes.  The love game against serve put the set back on even terms and shattered Tsonga, who'd moments ago been eyeing the second set as his.

Stan moved within a game of taking a two set lead after holding with relative ease and now Tsonga had the pressure of serving second really meaning something.
Passing Tsonga at the net brought Stan two set points.  Then a wild French forehand,  which is still taking its time to land somewhere in Melbourne, meant that the second set was awarded to Wawrinka 6-4.

An off forehand crosscourt winner from Switzerland was followed by something lass palatable from that country and a break point needed to be negotiated, which it was.
A delicious French forehand won generous applause and a visit to deuce, but the trip was short, only lasting till the next point.  Stan and Jo-W went there again a couple of times, once after Jo-W had failed to convert a break point, but ultimately both players decided to change ends after the game ended with Stan up 1-0.

A Wawrinka volley winner and Tsonga unforced errors comprised a love game service break to give Stan a two sets and 2-0 advantage.
A hefty forehand down the line took the fourth seed to 40-15 and he subsequently held for 3-0.
Tsonga played a great crosscourt winner and was still fighting for each point, putting his first game on the board, trailing 1-3.  Only a single break down.

However, wild forehands would not help when trying to place pressure on the Swiss serve, and Wawrinka held for 4-1. 

At 4-2 30-40, Stan saved a break point, and he proceeded to 5-2 and a breath away from a semi final.
Tsonga was taken to deuce but held and ensured that Stan would need to serve for the match.

40-0 and three match points.  
That was all she wrote.  

Stan Wawrinka into a semi final in straight sets 7-6 (2) 6-4 6-3.

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