(WC) Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) D. (12) Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
Stan Wawrinka made the most of his tournament wild card with well-fought three-set victory in his first ATP meeting with Diego Schwartzman. Wawrinka, a three-time tournament quarterfinalist and 2012 semifinalist, helped Schwartzman to his second-set victory by committing two double faults and converting only 3 of 17 first-return point opportunities.
Coming off a strong showing in a 5-7, 6-7(4) Round of 16 loss to Rafa Nadal (Spain) in Toronto last week and still working his way to top form following double knee surgery in 2017, Wawrinka thinks tonight’s competitive match will help him progress.
“That’s the kind of match that I'm looking for. It's important for my confidence. It's important for my game.
“I think to beat a player like Diego, it's not only important for confidence but it show that I'm playing well, I'm moving well. He's in the top 20 in the world, so it's a big win already,” he said.
(10) Novak Djokovic (Serbia) D. Steve Johnson (USA) 6-4, 7-6(4)
Reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic locked horns with the persistent Steve Johnson for the first time and needed nine match points to earn a second round tournament berth.
The Serbian landed seven aces in the match and plowed through with a return game sufficient enough to produce 43 of his 89 points in the match.
“Well, I thought I had patches of the match where I played pretty good. Overall, you know, I thought that I should have closed it earlier, but credit to him for fighting, fighting back, playing some good points when he needed to, big serves.
“Just overall, I'm glad that I managed to close it out in straight sets, because it was becoming quite a battle, two hours, two sets,” Djokovic said.
He’s reached the W&S Open finals five times (’15, ’12, ’11, ’09, ’08), but has yet to hoist a Rookwood Cup. If he completes the quest this season, he’ll have won a title in all nine Masters 1000 events.
“I think I can do better, definitely, in terms of level of tennis. Hopefully, I can improve for the next match,” he concluded.
Serena Williams (USA) D. Daria Gavrilova (Australia) 6-1, 6-2
Serena Williams raced to an efficient third victory in her head-to-head series with Daria Gavrilova that includes a meeting in 2016 Olympics. Williams needed a little more than 65 minutes to lock down her 795thWTA victory along with her 11thstraight and 22ndtournament match wins. The 36-year-old two-time W&S Open champion (’15, ’14) pounded eight aces and notched 30 of her 63 match points on returns. Gavrilova won 19 first serves, but aided Williams’ cause by committing seven double faults, with five in the second set.
"It's never easy, no matter what the scoreline says," Williams said. "(I) Definitely felt relaxed after the first break, but it's just the very beginning of the match. You've got to keep going and try to go for the whole thing."
Gavrilova, who advanced to the tournament Round of 16 in 2016, will continue on the tournament doubles competition playing with partner Anett Kontaveit (Estonia).
(Q) Alizé Cornet (France) D. (11) Jelana Ostapenko (Latvia) 1-6, 7-5, 6-0
Alizé Cornet rallied back after a subpar first set loss and tight second-set victory to eventually pull away from a stubborn Jelena Ostapenko.
Cornet, now 10-2 in match play since Wimbledon, makes her third straight second-round tournament appearance with plans to advance to the Round of 16 for the first time. She made her last Round of 16 trip in Montreal after earning her eighth WTA top-five victory over Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber (Germany).
“I just kept fighting and fighting and fighting,” Cornet described.
“She was killing me in that first set, I didn’t see any balls. She was doing winners over winners, and I was just trying to be here and just put the ball in the court.
“I think I put a little bit more intensity in my shots, and finally I turned the match around. I don’t know how. The third set was also a battle, but I think she was a little bit down to have lost the second set. So I’m just glad to be through to the second round."