Tennis

Wawrinka loses to world No. 259

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka blew a one-set lead to fall 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in a first-round shock at the Rotterdam Open yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Swiss fifth seed slumped to another surprise defeat by an outsider, after losing in the Australian Open second round to Tennys Sandgren and in last week's Sofia Open semi-finals to Bosnian Mirza Basic.

The 32-year-old Wawrinka, the 2015 Rotterdam winner, is struggling to regain top form after two knee operations in the summer. The Swiss has now lost three matches and won three since returning last month.

World No. 259 Griekspoor, 21, earned the biggest success of his career as he competed in only his third ATP-level match.

Wawrinka's devastating single-handed backhand was of scant use to him on the night, with his movement still well below his best.

"It was a tough day at the office," Wawrinka said.

"I still need a lot of work to get back. There were a lot of ups and downs. Today was not my best day. He played well and went for it.

"He played at a great level and deserved to win. I've got to be patient, I knew this would take a long time."

Roger Federer opened his campaign against Belgium's Ruben Bemelmans at the Ahoy Arena this morning, with the Swiss looking to overtake Rafael Nadal and become the oldest world No. 1 by reaching the semi-finals. - AFP

Tennis