Stan Wawrinka showed his class and experience by keeping Gilles Muller pinned behind the baseline with depth and top spin ground strokes in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament quarter-finals in Rotterdam.
Muller, who can be devastating at the net, was greeted by dipping topspin when he advanced and paid a heavy price for aggression. The dipping topspin forced Muller into hitting reactive volleys which sat up for Wawrinka to attack.
Any players hitting the ball anywhere near Wawrinka's backhand do so at their own peril as Muller abruptly found out. The final score was 7-6(7-3), 6-3. The Swiss star will now meet the big serving Canadian Milos Raonic in the semi-final on Valentine’s Day.
Raonic sets up exciting semi-final
After losing the first set 6-2, Raonic came back to beat Sergey Stakhovsky from Ukraine 6-3, 6-4 in the last two sets
Andy Murray might be forgiven for becoming superstitious on the other side of the draw, after being beaten by Gael Simon of France on Friday the 13th.
Murray dumped out early
The number one seed was beaten by a player ranked fifteen places below himself on the ATP rankings.
Murray's serve was broken in the first and fifth game of the first set. Simon held his nerve on serve to take the first set 6-4.It was the serve that let Murray down in the second set as well, leaving the Frenchman to take the second set 6-2.
Simon will now face defending champion Thomas Berdych in the semi-final. Thomas Berdych beat Gael Monfils in straight sets in a very entertaining match 6-1, 6-4. It would be very surprising if Berdych and Wawrinka don’t progress to the final but the fast court conditions may just suit the Canadian's superior serve.