- US Open
Wawrinka through after telling fan to 'shut up'
In the heat of the moment, locked in a suddenly tight match after midnight at Flushing Meadows, Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka snapped at a rowdy spectator, telling him to "shut up".
An hour later, after his 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6(1) victory over 91st-ranked Thomaz Bellucci in the second round of the US Open, Wawrinka was able to laugh about the exchange.
"At the end of the day, they start to get a little bit drunk," Wawrinka said at his news conference, shaking his head and chuckling. "It was okay. I had to talk to a few of them. At the end, it's normal. Everybody was into the match. That's okay. It can happen."
In a match that finished well after midnight, third-seed Wawrinka quickly built a two-set lead before faltering a bit, muttering aloud at himself after one miss: "Too many mistakes!"
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By the time he was in the grind of the fourth set, Wawrinka was talking directly to a fan who was bothering him, turning toward the Arthur Ashe Stadium stands and saying: "Shut up, man! Seriously, shut up."
Once his mind was back on the tennis, Wawrinka was fine.
At the outset of the match, Wawrinka explained afterward, "It was comfortable, because I was playing really good tennis. I think I was serving big. I was moving really well and taking the ball early, dictating every point. That's why it [looked] like - not easy, but it [looked] good for me."
Bellucci, a left-hander, was ranked as high as 21st in 2010 but arrived in New York with a record of only 11-10 this season. He entered Wednesday with a 5-19 record against opponents ranked in the top 10, including 0-9 on hard courts. But after a poor start, he began giving Wawrinka some trouble.
Bellucci finally earned his first break point of the match in the fourth game of the third set. He converted the chance on a 10-stroke exchange, stumbling as he flubbed a shot that clipped a net cord, then righting himself to deliver a backhand lob winner that landed on the baseline for a 3-1 lead that helped him take that set.
Wawrinka called that "one bad game". And then, making things really interesting, Bellucci went up a break at 2-1 in the fourth set.
But Wawrinka was able to break back to get back on serve. At 5-4 in the fourth set, Wawrinka held two match points, but Bellucci saved them to hold serve there and get to 5-all. With a chance to force a fifth set, though, Bellucci faltered in the tiebreaker.
"I tried to focus more on my game and not on what he was doing," Wawrinka said in his on-court interview. "Tried to make him work a lot. I was playing a little bit smarter at the end of the match."
Wawrinka made a real breakthrough at Flushing Meadows last year, eliminating defending champion Andy Murray and getting to his first major semifinal in the 35th Grand Slam tournament of his career.
He now has reached the third round of the US Open for the fourth time in the past five years.
Wawrinka's next opponent is 92nd-ranked Slovenian Blaz Kavcic, who eliminated 30th-seeded Jeremy Chardy of France 6-2 6-7(6) 6-3.
Elsewhere, Lleyton Hewitt suffered his first straight-sets defeat at the US Open since 2006 as Tomas Berdych proved too strong for the Australian.
Berdych, the sixth seed, became the ninth active player to achieve 100 grand slam wins with the triumph, having comfortably beaten his opponent 6-3 6-4 6-3.
"I feel pretty good," Berdych told the ATP Tour's official website. "It's a tough opponent, a big challenge. The conditions were extremely tough today. The heat, the wind, and facing Lleyton for the first round, it's not what you really want to have. But otherwise, when you are prepared and feel good, that's a perfect start."
Berdych next faces Martin Klizan, who came from two sets down to defeat Steve Darcis 3-6 2-6 7-6(5) 7-5 6-4.
Another player who came out of a five-setter with victory was No.18 seed Kevin Anderson, who triumphed 6-3 6-7(3) 4-6 6-2 7-6(1) against Pablo Cuevas in just over four hours on court.
Anderson will play Jerzy Janowicz, who advanced with a 6-3 7-5 5-7 7-5 win against Dusan Lajovic.
Marin Cilic got a free pass after opponent Marcos Baghdatis retired when 6-3 6-1 down. He will face qualifier Illya Marchenko, who recorded a remarkable 7-6(3) 4-6 7-6(13) 7-6(4) win against Marco Chiudinelli. Feliciano Lopez also received a second-round place when Ivan Dodig retired in the fifth set of their encounter.
Elsewhere, Teymuraz Gabashvili enjoyed a shock 6-3 1-6 7-6(6) 6-3 win over No. 27 seed Santiago Giraldo.