Stan Wawrinka claims Dubai title after `crazy tiebreaker` with Marcos Baghdatis

The match lasted for almost two hours, with Wawrinka leading 4-1 in the tiebreaker.

AFP| Updated: Feb 28, 2016, 05:18 AM IST
Stan Wawrinka claims Dubai title after `crazy tiebreaker` with Marcos Baghdatis

Dubai: Stan Wawrinka won his ninth straight final with a 6-4, 7-6 (15/13) defeat of Marcos Baghdatis to clinch the Dubai ATP title on Saturday after a "crazy tiebreaker".

The French Open champion from Switzerland claimed the 13th title of his career and second of the season after Chennai, improving to 13-2 in 2016.

The match lasted for almost two hours, with Wawrinka leading 4-1 in the tiebreaker but forced to go the distance as he saved five set points before winning when a Baghdatis return went wide on a fourth match point.

"Until 6-all in the tiebreak I was always up with a mini-break. I did I think two double faults and two or three, three quick mistakes," the winner said.

"Then it started to be all about nerves -- 6-6, 7-7, 10-10. You try to stay there, try to play simple, aggressive. It and was good to finish it in two sets."

The 30-year-old came to the emirate as second seed having not played the tournament in eight years and without a match win until getting through the first round.

"It`s an amazing end of week, for sure. It was a tough beginning, but I was always trying to fight, always trying to improve day by day even if I wasn`t playing great at the beginning," Wawrinka said.

"I`m really happy to have another trophy. It`s an amazing feeling, especially today as I was playing some really good tennis. It was a tough final."

He added: "This was my best match of the week, I`m happy with my level today. I had to fight until the end -- it was a quite crazy tiebreaker."

Wawrinka, the world number four, lost his last final in June, 2013 at the grasscourt event at `s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands.

"I`ve had a great run at finals. When I get to them I really want to win. You are carrying a lot of confidence from during the week," he said.

"I`ve always wanted to come back to Dubai, I was last here a long time ago. I lifted my level during the week and improved every day."

Wawrinka had to fight through the growing tension in what became one of the tightest finishes in the the event`s 24-year-history.

Baghdatis now stands 0-5 in finals since winning his last title at Sydney in 2010.

The Cypriot has now lost all six times he has faced Wawrinka. Baghdatis called his performance "a small light that I see in the tunnel".

"I`m happy I`m back and playing this kind of tennis now. It`s just to continue improving, and play at this level throughout the year."

He added: "I was a bit unlucky in the tiebreaker, that was the difference. But more matches throughout the year at this level would make me go in there and believe from the beginning that I can win, not wait three, four games and start believing.

"I`m playing very good tennis. This week I think I was a bit lucky, but I also found a way to win. I didn`t win the tournament but I won a lot more -- I won my confidence back."