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Defending champion Stan Wawrinka battles into third round

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka battles into third round

Swiss defending champion Stan Wawrinka was taken to two tiebreak sets before downing Romania`s Marius Copil to reach the third round at the Australian Open on Thursday.

Fourth seed Wawrinka won 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 in 2hr 16min and will now play Finnish journeyman Jarkko Nieminen.

Copil thundered down some big serves and one was clocked at 242 kph (150 mph), the fastest recorded so far this year. The Romanian also served up 17 aces.

Wawrinka, who beat Rafael Nadal in last year`s Australian final for his maiden Grand Slam title, was pleased with his performance and to get off court in three sets.

"The court was playing quite fast and he was really aggressive on serve and I was happy to get through in three sets," Wawrinka said.

"It was important to take the first tiebreaker and I tried to stay aggressive with my game. He gave me a few points in the second tiebreaker.

"He was really serving fast and it wasn`t easy today because the court was playing fast."

Wawrinka had more unforced errors than winners at 39 to 36 and shaded Copil 108-104 in total points to indicate the closeness of the contest.

The Swiss could only get two breaks in seven opportunities on Copil`s big serve.