Tennis: Stan Wawrinka wins Dubai title after marathon tiebreak

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland returns the ball to Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during their ATP tennis match at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Feb 25, 2016.
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland returns the ball to Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during their ATP tennis match at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Feb 25, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - Stan Wawrinka edged out Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in a nerve-jangling, near-30 minute tiebreak to secure the Dubai Duty Free Championship with a 6-4 7-6(13) triumph on Saturday (Feb 27).

Wawrinka's path to victory had been eased by the retirements of world number one Novak Djokovic and Australian prospect Nick Kyrgios in the earlier rounds but the Swiss often toiled against surprise finalist Baghdatis, whom he beat for a sixth successive time.

World number four Wawrinka was gifted the first set by a Baghdatis double fault - his third of that game alone - and a tepid second set was notable for not featuring a single break point.

But then followed an extraordinary tiebreak in which twice grand slam champion Wawrinka saved five set points before a Baghdatis backhand drifted long to give the Swiss a second title of the year following his victory in Chennai in January.