They almost held the record of the longest game in Umag. We are talking about Italian Matteo Arnaldi and Australian Alexei Popyrin. It took more than three hours to make the decision. That fell in favor of the unseeded Australian who went through 6-7 (2); 7-5 and 6-3 to the final. There he meets a veteran who seems to feel particularly at home in Umag: Stanislav Wawrinka. Wawrinka finished his semifinal faster. He broke the Italian Lorenzo Sonego, seeded second in Umag, both in the first and second set and secured with this 6-3; 6-4 victory also of a place in the final. Sonego also tried to wear down the Swiss with many variations, but he couldn’t get Stan down either. The court is not fast enough for it, or rather, Wawrinka may be 38 years old and certainly not an anorexic patient, but he is still fast enough on this court.
Wawrinka not only comes to the net often, but is also regularly far behind the baseline. That is also the area of the line referees, and sometimes that leads to (near) collisions. It shows the Swiss that this does not lead to irritation, but rather to excuses. The photos show that he made fun with the line referees twice. That does not mean that he is not focused on winning, not at all because he certainly wants to. But it does show his friendly relaxed character. After the match he took his time for the audience again. He hit a number of autographed tennis balls into the stands under loud cheering of public and could be found in all corners of the stadium long after the match to serve his fans with autographs and to have them take pictures. Wawarinka is therefore understandably extremely popular in Umag. We fear for Poperyn that the public will mainly side with the Swiss in the final.
YOU CAN SEE THE FULL PICTURES AND SLIDE SHOW. CLICK ON ANY PHOTO AND THE PICTURES ARE SHOWN AT FULL SIZE!