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By Chris Oddo | Friday November 6, 2015

Wawrinka Paris 2015

Stan Wawrinka inched past Rafael Nadal in a wildly entertaining battle in Paris on Friay.

Photo Source: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

After a slow start in Friday’s final quarterfinal at Bercy, the clock was approaching midnight and Stan Wawrinka was in a foul mood. But a cup of espresso cured all that.

Video: Wawrinka Takes Set Point with His Coffee

A caffeinated Wawrinka rallied from a break down in the opener after a courtside coffee, then saved three set points in a tense tiebreaker before saving another three in the second-set breaker to slip past Rafael Nadal in two rollicking sets, 7-6(8), 7-6(7).

The victory improves Wawrinka’s record against Nadal to 3-14, but the Swiss has now won three of the last four vs. the Spaniard.

As far as straight set victories go, the Swiss’ triumph was about as far from routine as is imaginable.

Nadal’s first set point came with Wawrinka serving at 3-5, 30-40. He was not able to handle a T-serve from the Swiss with his backhand and pushed it wide.

Wawrinka would overcook a forehand at 5-5 in the first-set tiebreaker to give Nadal his second set point but a defensive forehand was pushed wide on the next point to keep Wawrinka alive.

Nadal’s best opportunity came two points later when he had a patented inside-out forehand lined up but drove it into the net instead of the open court.

Wawrinka would take the next two points to close the set, but in the second set the drama continued.

Wawrinka claimed a break for 4-3 but failed to serve out the match when Nadal finally broke through on his third break point of the game to draw even at 5-all.

Eventually the pair would move to another tiebreaker, where Nadal would again find himself on the cusp of bagging a set. He led 5-2, but when he missed an easy overhead that would have given him four set points things started to shift.

Nadal would eventually earn three more set points, but a courageous Wawrinka would save all three, the final with a titanic forehand blast.

Two points later Wawrinka wrapped up the wild affair with a forehand down-the-line pass that brought the Parisian crowd to its feet one final time. Last ball was struck well after 1 A.M. in the city of lights, but the fans were more than ready for more tennis had Nadal been able to arrange it.

Wawrinka will move on to face Novak Djokovic in the semifinals on Saturday.

Nadal, despite showing some magnificent form this week in Paris, will be left to lament what might have been.


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