Defending champion Stan Wawrinka began his quest to defend his maiden crown on Tuesday afternoon in Melbourne and wasted minimal energy in victory. Next for the Swiss star is a contest against Marius Copil, whom he has never met on the tour prior to this upcoming encounter.
In his match against Tunisia’s Marsel Ilhan, Wawrinka needed less than 90 minutes to secure his spot in the second round in comfortable fashion. Wawrinka hit 8 aces, won 82% of his first service points and struck 34 winners to close out the match 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in 1 hour and 28 minutes.
“First Grand Slam never easy, but happy the way I played today. I feel great to come in the court. I play some good tennis and I have confidence with my game in general. That’s what I did today. It was not so hot. A little bit humid, a little bit windy. But, yeah, it was a good match.
“You need to be focused on every match, every point. Today I think was great. Good start for me winning in three sets and playing some good tennis.”
Marius Copil also needed straight sets to advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Tuesday. He defeated Spain’s Pablo Andujar 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 to finish the match in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Copil hit 18 aces, 18 winners and won 70% of his first service points to set up his encounter with the defending champion.
This is set to be the first ever encounter between Wawrinka and Copil and is unlikely to be a troublesome affair for the Swiss No. 2. Given the gaps in each of their skill sets, Wawrinka will undoubtedly have the advantage to reach the fourth round of the tournament.
Prediction: Stan Wawrinka in Straight Sets