French Open: Warwinka survives first round scare
When defending champion, Stan Warwinka, hit a backhand shot out to hand Czech, Lukas Rosol, the first set 4-6 in his first round match, it seemed as if an upset was in the offing in the Philip Chatrier Stadium of Roland Garros.
In the second set Wawrinka broke early for a 3-1 lead and promptly held for 4-1. The hard-serving Rosol fought gallantly in the sixth game, in which he lost the first game point, saved a break point, but eventually lost to give Wawrinka an unassailable 5-1 lead. The Swiss promptly won the sixth game without dropping a point.
The danger of an upset was heightened when the Czech won a long-drawn-out second set. He won the first game on serve and broke Warwinka and held his serve for a 2-0 lead. Games went with serve and ended in favour of Rosol at 6-3. The break saw a rejuvenated Warwinka, as the service speed dropped on both sides from the high average of 170kph. The champion won the fourth set at 6-3 and the fifth decider 6-4.
The story of Warwinka’s close shave went way back, before Roland Garros. He had played in the finals of the Geneva Open on Saturday, defeating Marin Cilic 6-4; 7-6 in a hard-fought match that went 11 points to nine in the tiebreak. En route to that first tournament victory on his native soil, he had faced Rosol (ranked 59 in the World) in the semifinals, needing three sets to win.