Tennis: Stan Wawrinka ends long wait for home title

Stan Wawrinka reacts after a point against Croatia's Marin Cilic during the Geneva Open.
Stan Wawrinka reacts after a point against Croatia's Marin Cilic during the Geneva Open.PHOTO: AFP

GENEVA (AFP) - French Open champion Stan Wawrinka clinched his first homeground title on Saturday with a 6-4, 7-6 (13/11) victory over Marin Cilic in the Geneva clay-court final.

It was Wawrinka’s third title of 2016 and first on clay just a day before Roland Garros gets under way in Paris.

“It’s a dream come true to be able to win a title in Switzerland, after all these tournaments,” Wawrinka said.

“To be able to do it here in Geneva, in the event’s second year is something special. The fans were great. They made a lot of noise today.”

World number four and top seed Wawrinka broke the 11th-ranked Cilic to take a 2-1 lead on his way to the first set.

Cilic hit back for a 4-1 advantage in the second set before 31-year-old Wawrinka broke the Croat at 3-5 to get the second set back on serve.

In the tie-break, Cilic squandered five set points before Wawrinka took victory on his second match point.

“Marin is a great player,” added Wawrinka. “He really ramped up the pressure toward the end, with those set points, so it was nice to be able to finish off the match.”

Former US Open champion Cilic was playing his first clay-court tournament of the season and his first event since March because of a right knee injury.

“It was an amazing week for me and this was something I was not even expecting,” Cilic said.

“I definitely have great enthusiasm now for Roland Garros.”