Tennis: Wawrinka into Basel second round, keeps London hopes alive

BASEL, Switzerland (AFP) – Stan Wawrinka fired 10 aces and 30 winners to overwhelm fellow veteran Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round of the Swiss Indoors on Wednesday (Oct 23), keeping alive his outside chances of making the ATP Finals.

Wawrinka, who was a runner-up to Andy Murray in Antwerp last weekend, currently stands at 15th in the race for the season-ending showpiece in London with 1,500 rankings points available between Basel and next week’s Paris Masters, the final event of the regular campaign.

Six of the eight spots for the ATP Finals have already been secured.

Wawrinka, 34, ended each set against Uruguay’s 45th-ranked Cuevas with aces, breaking once per set to go through to the second round in 67 minutes.

“It was great for a first match,” said Wawrinka, who lost just nine points in 10 service games.

“I moved and served well, I was really focussed. I’m really happy to get through in two sets.”

The seventh seed is playing Basel for the 14th time and improved his record at the event to 12-13. He next takes on Frances Tiafoe of the United States.

Three-time major winner Wawrinka said his three-set final loss to Murray in Antwerp on Sunday proved useful in Basel.

“Antwerp really helped me today, I’ve got confidence in my game, the game is there.” But he refused to speculate on any London chances: “I’m super-far away, so it’s not at all in my mind.”

Sixth seed David Goffin also stayed in the race to London with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic.

Goffin entered this week at provisional 10th in the race and is duelling with Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who currently stands eighth, and ninth-placed Roberto Bautista Agut.

His win in 73 minutes ended a three-match losing streak to Cilic.

Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania lined up a second-round match with third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas after defeating Pablo Andujar 6-1, 6-1.

Filip Krajinovic will next take on fifth seed Fabio Fognini after going past Serb compatriot Laslo Djere, 6-1, 6-4.

Later Wednesday, top seed and nine-time champion Roger Federer faces Radu Albot of Moldova for a place in the quarter-finals.

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