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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Top seed Wawrinka labours to three-set victory in Sofia

Sports Shorts: Top seed Wawrinka labours to three-set victory in Sofia

February 09, 2018 11:48 IST

A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Friday

Stan Wawrinka

IMAGE: Stan Wawrinka. Photograph: Stan Wawrinka/Twitter

Stan Wawrinka, looking to play himself back into form after a long layoff due to a knee surgery, survived a scare to advance to the Sofia Open quarter-finals with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Slovakian qualifier Martin Klizan on Thursday.

 

After losing the opening set, the 32-year-old three-times grand slam champion piled on the pressure with rasping baseline winners and wrapped up victory showing no ill-effects from the injury that hampered him at the Australian Open last month.

The burly Swiss's powers of recovery will be put to the test on Friday when he meets 2016 runner-up Viktor Troicki. The Serb progressed to the last eight by beating Uzbek Denis Istomin 7-6(4), 1-6, 7-6(5).

Marcos Baghdatis upset second seed Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-1.

The feisty Cypriot, who will meet Slovakian qualifier Jozef Kovalik for a place in the semis, broke twice in the decisive set, leaving his 29-year-old opponent to hurl his racket to the court.

Third seed Gilles Muller needed all his experience to dig himself out of trouble and beat Italian Andreas Seppi 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(2) in the longest match of the tournament to reach the quarter-finals in Sofia for a third consecutive year.

The 34-year-old left-hander from Luxembourg clawed his way back into a match lasting two hours and 35 minutes after powering down 23 aces to set up an intriguing clash with big-serving Romanian Marius Copil, who breezed past Slovenia’s Blaz Kavcic 6-2 6-2.

McLaren watching Hamilton's moves with interest

Lewis Hamilton

IMAGE: Lewis Hamilton. Photograph: Lewis Hamilton/Twitter

Lewis Hamilton's former team McLaren are watching his contract situation with interest, even if the four times Formula One world champion and Mercedes have said they want to stay together.

The 33-year-old Briton has a season left to run on his current contract but is expected to sign a new multi-year agreement with the team that has won both championships for the past four years.

Nothing appears to have been signed yet, however, allowing rivals to indulge in what may be little more than flights of fantasy.

"I don't think there's a team in the pitlane that wouldn't be interested in having Lewis drive for them, us included," McLaren's executive director Zak Brown told reporters when asked about the situation.

"If anyone got Lewis, it would be great for the team. He has a great history here and he is very friendly with the shareholders," added the American, who joined the Woking-based outfit at the end of 2016.

Hamilton won his first title with McLaren in 2008, a year after his debut, before moving to Mercedes in 2013 and taking three more championships.

The sport's most high-profile driver, who enjoys a private jet and all the trappings of success, said last November he expected a new contract to be straightforward -- a sentiment echoed by team boss and shareholder Toto Wolff.

"Lewis has become such an important pillar within the team that it's a no-brainer that we continue with each other," said the Austrian.

Source:
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