Wawrinka wins in return to Indian Wells after 4 years away

INDIAN WELLS, California. Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka made a successful return to the BNP Paribas Open after a four-year absence, defeating qualified Aleksandar Vukic on Thursday 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.

Wawrinka, a 37-year-old ranked 3rd and now 100th after a series of left foot and left knee surgeries, hit 10 aces and won 28 of 33 first innings. His previous match at the California Desert Hardcourt Tournament was a third-round loss to Swiss Davis Cup teammate Roger Federer in 2019.

Wawrinka, runner-up to Federer at Indian Wells in 2017, will face No. 26 seed Miomir Kecmanovic in the second round of the first Masters 1000 event of the season.

Two other major title holders who have faced injury problems in recent years, Andy Murray and Dominic Thiem, were due to play in the first round later on Day 2.

Emma Raducanou, who won the 2021 US Open as a teenager, returned to the court on Thursday for the first time since January after suffering tonsillitis and lost 2-0 in every set during what became a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Danka Kovinic.

Another 20-year-old, Ben Shelton, started off with a 2-0 loss to Fabio Fognini and then won 12 of the last 15 games 6-4, 6-1. Shelton, the 2022 NCAA singles champion from the University of Florida, who hasn’t won a match since reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, will play fourth seed and defending champion Taylor Fitz.

Fognini was cautioned for loud obscenity and for taking too long to prepare for the return pitch; he also hit with a racket during a match, but the chair umpire did not cite him for it.

Thanasi Kokkinakis scored 32 of the 34 points he scored in a 6-4, 6-1 win over wild card Brandon Holt to earn Saturday against defending US Open champion and top seed Carlos Alcaraz.

Danielle Collins, runner-up at the 2022 Australian Open, lost her second match in a row to a non-top 50 opponent by knocking out 80th-seeded Dalma Galfi 6-4, 6-4. Halif lost in qualifying, but advanced to the main draw when someone withdrew. Collins posted only nine winners, committing 41 unforced errors.

Varvara Gracheva, who qualified for Indian Wells after reaching the final in Austin, Texas last week, defeated Ysaline Bonaventure 6-2, 6-2; Katerina Sinyakova beat Jules Niemeyer 7:5, 6:4; and Jill Teichmann beat Ashlyn Krueger 6-1, 6-4.

In terms of other results, Jack Draper beat qualifier Leandro Riedi 6-1, 6-1 to set up an all-British match against No. 24 Dan Evans; and Mackenzie McDonald defeated Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-0.

Wawrinka wins, returning to Indian Wells after 4 years away originally appeared on


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