Wawrinka muscles into French Open quarter-finals

May 30, 2016
Japan's Kei Nishikori returns the forehand to France's Richard Gasquet during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, yesterday in Paris. Nishikori was beaten by Frenchman Richard Gasquet. (AP Photo)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka misses a return in the fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Serbia Viktor Troicki at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, yesterday. (AP Photo)
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PARIS (AP):

Hitting sublime backhands, defending champion Stan Wawrinka surged 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-2 into the French Open quarter finals, so in control against Viktor Troicki on Sunday that he amused himself and the crowd by hitting with a ball boy while the Serb took time out for treatment in the third set.

After lending the lucky lad a racket for their impromptu hit-about, the third-seeded Swiss got back to business, securing his win in cold and humid conditions on Court Philippe Chatrier in just under three hours. Also through to the quarters: second-seeded Andy Murray, in a rain-interrupted 7-6 (9), 6-4, 6-3 victory over big-serving American John Isner.

Wawrinka needed eight set points to overcome Troicki, seeded number 22, in the first set. He failed to capitalise on the first four when Troicki was serving at 5-6 and then saw three more go to waste in the tiebreaker before getting the set lead in 49 minutes.

Garbine Muguruza also advanced to the quarter finals for a third straight year. The array of shots and maturity the 22-year-old deployed in an intensely fought 6-3, 6-4 win against 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova strengthened the argument that Muguruza could soon be challenging Serena Williams for the top spot in women's tennis.

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