2020 in Review: Stan Wawrinka stops the clock to defeat Daniil Medvedev



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2020 in Review: Stan Wawrinka stops the clock to defeat Daniil Medvedev

The 34-year-old former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka returned to Melbourne's big scene, taking down the 4th seed Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in three hours and 25 minutes. Stan won nine points more than the US Open finalist, keeping the ball on his racquet and firing 71 winners and 64 unforced errors, leaving Daniil on a consistent but not good enough 44-35 ratio.

Medvedev was a tie break away from the quarter-final and a step further in comparison to the last year when he lost to Novak Djokovic in this same round. He couldn't take that extra step, though, finishing on the losing side in his sixth five-setter at Majors, still seeking the first marathon win on the most significant tennis scene.

Stan converted four out of 11 break chances, while Daniil seized three out of eight opportunities on the return. It wasn't enough to cross the finish line before the Swiss and stay on the title course, standing as one of the pre-tournament favorites alongside Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Stan had the advantage in the shortest and most extended exchanges, remaining in touch with a rock-solid baseliner and prevailing in the crucial moments to secure a place in the quarters. Wawrinka kicked off the encounter in the strongest way, dropping four points on serve in the opener and delivering two breaks for 6-2.

He broke Daniil in the fourth game when the Russian placed a backhand long and delivered that second break at love at 5-2 to secure the set in 32 minutes. Raising his level in set number two, Medvedev found the range behind the initial shot and gave away only three points, clinching two breaks for 6-2 and positive vibes ahead of the rest of the encounter.

Stan Wawrinka beat Daniil Medvedev in five sets at the Australian Open.

He broke error-prone Swiss in the third game and once again at 3-1 when Stan netted an easy forehand, grabbing the set with three service winners at 5-2 to level the overall score.

Wawrinka couldn't do much on the return in the third set either, getting broken in the seventh game following a backhand mistake. The Russian secured a set with an unreturned serve at 5-4, opening two sets to one advantage and gathering momentum ahead of set number four.

With no room for errors, Stan started to play better behind the initial shot, wasting a break chance in the fourth game and entering the tie break with the pressure on his back, having to win it to stay alive. The more experienced player stole the rival's serve twice at 1-0 to forge the advantage and seized the breaker when Daniil netted a backhand in the ninth point to force a decider.

Stan opened it with a break at 15 following a massive forehand error from Daniil, held at love in the next one and fended off three break chances in the fourth game to remain in front. The Swiss secured the sixth game with a smash winner and grabbed a break with a forehand winner at 4-2 to serve for the win.

Showing no signs of nerves, Wawrinka held at 30 in the eighth game to move over the top and set the quarter-final clash against Alexander Zverev.