Hanescu ends Wawrinka’s hopes in a rain hit Gstaad

July 13th, 2008 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Gstaad, (Switzerland), July 13 (DPA) A late break of top seed Stanislas Wawrinka handed Romanian Victor Hanescu a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 upset at the semi-finals of the Allianz Suisse Open. But Hanescu will have to wait until Sunday to know his opponent as Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and seventh seed Igor Andreev were stalled by rain with their match squared at 6-7 (2-7), 7-5.

Tenth-ranked Wawrinka, whose Rome final two months ago vaulted him into the tennis elite, lost his nerve in a marathon sixth game of the final set, while up a break against the 80th-ranked Hanescu.

After saving four break points, Wawrinka wobbled on a fifth as the 1.98-metre Romanian giant levelled the set at three games apiece.

With Swiss Stan’s confidence sinking, the underdog broke in the final game for victory after Wawrinka saved two match points.

The win puts Hanescu into his first final since last September in Bucharest. He will bid to become the first from his nation since Ilie Nastase in 1973 to collect the Gstaad title.

Wawrinka, main draw card for local fans at this VIP resort village 800 metres high in the Alps, had been bidding to become the first home champion since Federer, who played the event for the last time four years ago.

“I had my chances in the end and I didn’t take them,” said the Swiss player. “It’s a very disappointing way to lose. I need to play with more consistency.

“But all I can do now is look ahead to a busy summer with two Masters Series, plus the Olympics and the US Open.”

Hanescu came to the event with few hopes after suffering with back injuries and poor form for several seasons.

“I hope to be in top 100 this season. Playing a top ten player was difficult but I kept my confidence. On this high-altitude clay, anything can happen.

“I’m hoping to win my first title on Sunday.”

The 26-year-old managed to turn the final set around, winning with 12 aces and three breaks of Wawrinka in just over two hours in a match which began 90 minutes late due to rain.

Wawrinka’s run this week has been danger-fraught, with the top seed needing three sets for all of his previous wins.

Wawrinka lost a Gstaad title bid in 2005 against Gaston Gaudio. The loss left the Swiss with a 30-14 record this season after finals at Rome and Doha.

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