Wawrinka loses with back pain as Murray advances

May 16, 2014 - 8:19:07 am
Britain’s player Andy Murray returns the ball to Austria’s Juergen Melzer during the Rome Masters Tennis tournament yesterday at the Foro Italico in Rome.

ROME: Monte Carlo champion Stanislas Wawrinka joined fellow Swiss Roger Federer on the scrapheap at the ATP-WTA Rome Masters yesterday as back pain resulted in a 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 loss to 15th seed Tommy Haas.

The 36-year-old has now won both of his matches with Wawrinka, a 2008 finalist at the Foro Italico.

Andy Murray, who quit the event with back problems a year ago and eventually required surgery, closed out a welcome win over Jurgen Melzer with his sixth ace for a 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 result which puts him into his second straight clay quarter-final after Madrid a week ago.

Germany’s Haas ended with seven aces to eight for Wawrinka, who could not hold onto leads throughout the two-hour contest. The winner produced 32 winners while Wawrinka struck 40 unforced errors.

Haas broke in the third set for 5-3, then finished with an ace a game later on his first match point. Wawrinka said that after playing a match in the chill two days earlier, he started having back problems.

But experience told him that he worry is not serious and should not affect his chances for Roland Garros starting in 10 days.

“It was difficult to give the intensity. I know my back, I just need some rest - maybe two days is enough -

But I’m not worried about it,” he said.

Murray now owns a perfect 7-0 record over Austrian Melzer, who is back on court after shoulder problems.

 In women’s play, Chinese second seed Li Na defeated Samantha Stosur 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals, turning the momentum in a long-running rivallry.

Ana Ivanovic handed Maria Sharapova her first loss of the spring clay season as she beat the Russian eighth seed 6-1, 6-4.

Sharapova had won back-to-back titles in Stuttgart and Madrid, compiling a dozen straight victories.AFP

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