Wawrinka battles past Youzhny in Toronto

Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:56pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Stan Wawrinka survived a thriller against Mikhail Youzhny in the second round of the Rogers Cup on Tuesday, fighting back in both sets to prevail 7-6(3) 7-6(8). The Swiss second seed trailed 5-4 in the first set and had to break Youzhny's serve to force a tiebreak.

He then fell behind 3-0 in the second before launching a comeback that saw him fight through set point in a heated tiebreak and ultimately pull through to close out the match.

Wawrinka, who had failed to advance past the second round in his last two tournaments, now has a third-round matchup with American Donald Young. Earlier in the day, Gael Monfils, fresh off his tournament win in Washington, cruised by Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-3 6-3 to ease into the second round. The 10th seeded Frenchman won 50 percent of his return points against Sousa and hammered down eight aces to extend his win streak to six matches. “I think I've put in good work with my team. What I try to do is keep working with them and then see the results later,” said Monfils, two days after his first tournament win in two-and-a-half years.

“I like to think when I'm in my top game and with consistency, I can beat a lot of players at the top.” Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych, playing his first match since losing in the Wimbledon semi-final to eventual champion Andy Murray, secured his spot in the third round with a 4-6 6-1 6-4 win over Croatia's Borna Coric. Top seed Djokovic, the only member of the "Big Four" in Toronto, will play his first singles match since Wimbledon when he takes on Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; Additional reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Jul 26, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada;  Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland hits a shot against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia on day two of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Aviva Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports