He may have crashed out of the Australian Open, but veteran Swiss star Stan Wawrinka’s agonising five-set loss in the second round at Melbourne Park took him to fourth in the list of players with most five-setters in Grand Slams in the Open Era.
From being two sets down against rising Hungarian star Martin Fucsovics, the old warhorse in Wawrinka stirred into life as he staged a brilliant fightback to win the next two sets.
Wawrinka is fourth on the Open Era list of players with most five-setters in Grand Slams
However, the Swiss couldn’t hold out a late resurgence from the Hungarian as he lost the tie-break in the deciding set to go down 5-7, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (9-11).
The defeat took the Swiss’ count of five-setters in Grand Slams to 44, more than former champion Andre Agassi who trails at the fifth with 41 matches that went the full distance.
Wawrinka’s win-loss ratio in the five-setters that he has featured in stands at 24-20, while Agassi’s is 24-17.
Stan Wawrinka’s Swiss mate Roger Federer tops list with 47 five-setters
Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer tops the list with 47 five-setters in Grand Slams, while his win-loss count is at 30-17.
Former stars Lleyton Hewitt and Fernando Verdasco rank second and third in the list. Though they are tied at 45 five-setters in Grand Slams, the former Australian champion has more share of wins at 26-19 to Verdasco’s 23-22.
Wawrinka had pulled out of the Murray River Classic, a tune-up ATP event in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, after his win over Australian Alex Bolt.
After a title-less run on the men’s Tour and the pullout at the season-opener in Melbourne, the veteran Swiss wasn’t on top of his game going into the year’s first Grand Slam.
However, his straight-set win in the opening round against Pedro Sousa of Portugal seemed to indicate that he had found his bearings and will carry his form and momentum into the business-end at Melbourne Park.
However, his game fell away in the face of some aggressive tennis by Fucsovics in the second round.
At 35, there are doubts on whether the 18th-ranked Swiss will return to the Australian Open next year.