Tennis

Stan Wawrinka celebrating his win in the Dubai Open.

Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem both claim ATP 500 titles

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Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem continued their impressive starts to 2016 by claiming wins in the ATP 500 tournaments played in Dubai and Mexico respectively.

Wawrinka won his second title of the year defeating Marcos Baghdatis 6-4 7-6(13) in the final of the Dubai Open. He broke Baghdatis' serve in the tenth game to close out the first set.

Games went with serve for the entirety of the second set, and a tiebreak was needed to decide it. Wawrinka went out with an early lead, but the veteran pegged him back forcing four set points.

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The Swiss was able to claim the match on his fourth match point to close it out 15-13 in the tiebreak, which took 24 minutes to complete. It was also the sixth win in as many meetings for Wawrinka against Baghdatis.

This title was the 13th in Wawrinka's career and the ninth straight win he has had in a title deciding tiebreak. It was only the third time the 30-year old had played in Dubai, with his last appearance in 2008.

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This title was the 13th in Wawrinka's career and the ninth straight win he has had in a title deciding tiebreak. It was only the third time the 30-year old had played in Dubai, with his last appearance in 2008.

It was an encouraging week for Baghdatis as he reached his first ATP 500 final in six years. The Cypriot has had clear thoughts of retirement in the past year but now feels that a return to the top 30 is an achievable goal.

CLAY COURT DREAM

Meanwhile, Thiem won his fifth career title and his second in 2016, by claiming the Mexico Open defeating Bernard Tomic in three sets 7-6(6) 4-6 6-3.

Tomic was serving for the first set at 5-3, but the Austrian broke serve and won 14 straight points to get himself back into the set.

It went to a tiebreak and despite falling behind, Thiem was the most composed player at vital stages and claimed it eight points to six.

Tomic was able to secure a service break in the fifth game of the second set, and despite facing enormous pressure to hold his own serve kept his nerve and won the set 6-4.

TENNIS-MEXICO-OPEN-ATP

Early in the deciding set, the pair exchanged service breaks, and Thiem then broke serve again which set him on his way to sealing the title.

It was the 22-year-old's first ATP 500 title and will move him to a career high ranking of 14 in the world. Thiem will be sad to see February end, after compiling a 13-1 record in the month which also included a win in the Argentina Open.

It was his first success on a hard court as his previous four tournament wins came on clay. It was a tournament which saw players the ilk of David Ferrer, Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori fail to make the final four.

Thiem is the first player aged in their early twenties to shed the 'promising' tag and make a real impact on the ATP tour. He is definitely a player to watch throughout the year.

Will Stan Wawrinka be able to defend his French Open title? Leave your opinion in the comment box below!

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Topics:
Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Stanislas Wawrinka
Roger Federer
Australian Open
Wimbledon
French Open

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