Geneva, May 27 (IANS) Swiss top seed Stan Wawrinka has defeated Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in the semi-finals of the Geneva Open and is now one win away from back-to-back titles at this clay-court event.
He will next take on 29-year-old German qualifier Mischa Zverev, who came to the net judiciously and used his potent two-handed backhand to edge second-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, reports Efe news agency.
Wawrinka easily controlled his service games against Kuznetsov in the opening set on Friday, which he won on the strength of one service break.
In the second set, both returners had numerous chances against the opposing player’s serve but went a combined 0-for-9 on break-point opportunities.
The top seed then clinched the second set and the match in a tie-breaker.
“The crowd has been great this week. They are very loud and support me a lot when I need most,” the 2015 French Open champion was quoted as saying on the ATP World Tour’s Web site.
Referring to Zverev’s ability to serve and volley and win points at the net, the Swiss world No. 3 noted that his left-handed opponent in the final has “a special style that we don’t see too often nowadays.”
Zverev is the older brother of 20-year-old rising star Alexander Zverev, who captured the biggest title of his career to date at last weekend’s Rome Masters.
Wawrinka defeated Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-6 (13-11) in last year’s final of the Geneva Open, a tune-up for tennis’ lone clay-court Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, which gets under way on Sunday.