World number four Stan Wawrinka has won his first match at the Dubai Tennis Championships after three attempts, but it wasn’t just his losing run that was broken.
The Swiss is turning out at the tournament for the third time, but had not won a match prior to his victory over Sergiy Stakhovsky on Tuesday, having lost in the first round in 2006 and 2008.
It looked like Wawrinka might be in line for another early exit when he blew a 5-3 lead in the first set, and the frustration got the better of him at 15-40 in the 11th game when he smashed his racquet on the ground and earned a racquet abuse warning for his troubles.
Wawrinka used the age-old ‘break the raquet on your knee’ technique in Dubai, but he’s used slightly more dramatic methods in the past…
For the pros, there are a few guidelines on how to get the most out of a raquet smash, although Wawrinka doesn’t appear to need any pointers…
The second seed recovered to secure a 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 victory, and was happy to have notched up a win despite not playing his best tennis.
“It’s a good win, great win for me,” Wawrinka said. “Not playing well, still winning, still fighting, still finding a way.”