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Wawrinka claims Casablanca crown

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Originally published on: 12/04/10 08:23

It was sixth time lucky for Stanislas Wawrinka this weekend after the Swiss breezed past Romanian Victor Hanescu to earn his second career title at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca.

“I’ve lost five finals in a row and now finally I have the trophy in my hands,” said Wawrinka after triumphing 6-2 6-3 in 77 minutes to double his title haul four years after winning his first piece of silverware – also on clay – in Umag, Croatia.

“I’m very happy with my win today,” Wawrinka added after downing world No.43 Hanescu for the first time in their third tour meeting. “I felt great during the whole match and never allowed Victor to get into the game. I think this was my best match of the week.”

Wawrinka was twice taken to three sets in Morocco, including in his opening match of the tournament when he dropped the second set without managing a single game against world No.212 Martin Klizan.

But the 25-year-old Swiss had no such scares against Hanescu – who was the only player ranked inside the top 50 Wawrinka had to face throughout the tournament.

The relatively straightforward title win contrasts pretty heavily with the acquisition of his first title in 2006 – where he had to defeat (the albeit youthful) Marin Cilic, Juan Martin Del Potro and Novak Djokovic for victory in Umag.

Featuring for only the third time since becoming a father on Feb 12, Wawrinka broke his opponent twice in the second set to set up a 5-1 advantage, and though broken when serving for the title, coolly served out the match at the second time of asking.

“This is a great start to the clay court season and I hope to continue like that,” said Wawrinka. “Now I look forward to next week in Monte-Carlo where my wife and daughter will travel with me for the first time.”

Wawrinka has fond memories of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, having defeated Roger Federer last year en route to the semi-finals.

Incidentally, the world No.20 will meet Hanescu in the first round of this year’s event, where the Romanian will look to record his third career victory over the Swiss after conceding that Wawrinka was “too good for me” in Casablanca.

In the week’s other ATP clay court event in Houston, Juan Ignacio Chela claimed his first title in more than three years after defeating Sam Querrey 5-7 6-4 6-3.

“Right now I feel wonderful. No words,” said the 30-year-old Argentine after winning his fifth clay court title.

Six-foot-three Chela leaps 31 places to No.51 in the rankings after defeating four seeded players this week – Eduardo Schwank, Lleyton Hewitt, Horacio Zeballos and Querrey, who lamented his performance in his second final of the year.

“Every one of his service games in the second set was deuce, break point, ad-in, and I was just babying the ball around too often,” said the 22-year-old American.

“I need to step up and take chances. You can work that in practice all you want, but it’s not the same. You’ve got to tell yourself I’m going to do it in a match.”

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