Washington - Three-time
Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, struggling in his comeback from left
knee surgery, was ousted by US qualifier Donald Young at the ATP and
WTA Washington Open on Tuesday.
Young, ranked 234th, outlasted the 33-year-old Swiss 6-4, 6-7 (5/7),
7-6 (7/3) and advanced to a second-round match with Japanese seventh
seed Kei Nishikori.
"It was a tough fight, a lot of nerves because he can hit any shot,"
Young said. "Stan at the top is totally different than when he's working
his way back. I'm sure he'll be back. I won't want to play him when
Wawrinka, ranked 198th, fell to 6-11 this year after missing most of nine months before returning in May.
"It's painful to lose in the first round here, especially 7-6 in the
third," Wawrinka said.
"I was missing a lot for sure. It's tough when
you haven't played a lot of matches. Tough loss for sure."
On the women's side, reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens opened by beating fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 7-5, 6-4.
Third-ranked Stephens, who captured her first Grand Slam title last
year in New York, rallied from 5-2 down in the first set to book a
second-round match against Germany's Andrea Petkovic.
"I'm super excited about the hardcourt season again," Stephens said. "It was good I was able to fight back and win."
Wawrinka, who began his career in 2002, won his first Grand Slam
title at the 2014 Australian Open and added the 2015 French Open and
2016 US Open titles. He reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2014 and
2015 but hasn't gotten past the second round since.
Hard-learned patience over 12 years before his Slam breakthrough is paying dividends as Wawrinka tries to recapture top form.
"There are different steps. Right now is to get back a little
confidence and get rid of all the doubt you have in your game," Wawrinka
"I feel like I'm really close, but sometimes really far. I'm sure
I'll get back where I want to be. It's a long process and you have to
accept that. I know I'll get back. I just don't know how long it will
It doesn't help that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal returned from
injuries and quickly found top form. After several knee injuries, Nadal
has won three of the past six Grand Slam titles. Federer has taken three
of the past seven Slam titles after 2016 knee surgery.
"You can't compare an injury," Wawrinka said. "Some come back quickly. Some it takes more time.
"You need to accept it's going to be painful. It took a lot of years
to win Grand Slams and if it takes me a few months to get my game back
in top shape then that's all right."
Stephens, who won
her first WTA title at Washington in 2015, fired her sixth ace on her
first match-point chance to advance after one hour and 53 minutes.
"I knew I was in for a real test from the very beginning," Stephens
said. "I knew I had to be patient, play my game and wait for my
Stephens became the top-rated player in the draw when world number
two Caroline Wozniacki, the reigning Australian Open champion, withdrew
due to a right leg injury.
"It's just something that has been nagging for a little while," Wozniacki said. "Hopefully it will be fine."
Stephens' top-rated remaining rival is Japan's 17th-ranked Naomi
Osaka, the reigning Indian Wells champion who won her Washington debut
6-2, 7-6 (7/4) over American Bernarda Pera.
"Confidence-wise, winning Indian Wells was good for me," Osaka said. "It has helped me a lot."
Top-seeded defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany led
Tunisia's Malek Jaziri 6-2 when 01:00 rain halted their second-round
matchup until Wednesday. One other men's match and four women's matches
were postponed as well.
"There's rain in the forecast the next four days. Everyone has played
late matches here," said US second seed John Isner.
"Whoever deals with
that the best, whoever doesn't mind playing at two in the morning, is
liable to win the event."
Results on Tuesday from the second day of the ATP and WTA Washington Open (x denotes seeding):
James Duckworth (AUS) bt Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (USA) 6-3, 7-5
Jared Donaldson (USA) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4)
Denis Kudla (USA) bt Lukas Lacko (SVK) 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 6-4
Daniil Medvedev (RUS) bt Yosuke Watanuki (JPN) 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
Alex De Minaur (AUS) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-7 (6/8), 6-2, 6-3
Donald Young (USA) bt Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3)
Pierre-Hughes Herbert (FRA) bt Mitchell Krueger (USA) 7-5, 6-3
Vincent Millot (FRA) bt Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 6-3, 6-2
Naomi Osaka (JPN x3) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-2, 7-6 (7/4)
Ana Bogdan (ROM) bt Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x4) 7-6 (7/2), 6-3
Nao Hibino (JPN) bt Sofya Zhuk (RUS) 7-5, 6-4
Donna Vekic (CRO x7) bt Caroline Dolehide (USA) 6-3, 6-4
Belinda Bencic (SUI x6) bt Harriet Dart (GBR) 7-5, 6-2
Sloane Stephens (USA x2) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 7-5, 6-4
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ x8) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4