Friday, March 8, 2019 - Stan Wawrinka plays Daniel Evans in the 1st round of the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Elise Sterck/BNP Paribas Open)
In a rematch of one of the greatest matches in recent Grand Slam history, Stan Wawrinka took on Britain’s Dan Evans with a spot in the 2019 BNP Paribas Open second round on the line. Back in 2016, the two battled under the bright lights of the of the US Open, with Wawrinka eventually surviving the epic encounter 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(8), 6-2.
Today in the desert, the well-acquainted pair met once again. While it wasn’t the four-hour plus confrontation that enchanted the crowd in Queens, it was still a tremendous display. No one in attendance on Stadium 4 expected anything less.
In the end, the Swiss Wawrinka upended Evans’ hopes of a Cinderella run in Indian Wells with a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 victory.
Evans, who has been playing in the desert for over a week already and is coming off of a semifinal run at the Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells, had plenty of moments throughout the match. He broke Wawrinka early in the opening set and played inspired tennis in the tiebreaker to take a 7-6(4) advantage.
After that, Wawrinka began to play like a former world No. 3 and 16-time ATP Tour titlist. He served up eight aces and saved an impressive (7/9) 78% of his opponent’s break point opportunities. While Evans fought mightily, Wawrinka had an answer for everything thrown his way and dominated play throughout two 6-3, 6-3 sets to close the contest.
Next up for the Swiss champion, he meets Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.