Stan Wawrinka ended an eight month Semi-Final drought in Sofia after he eased past Viktor Troicki 6-1 7-6(3) in an impressive performance.
The top seed started the match in tip-top condition as he powered his way past an average Troicki in the first set. The Serbian failed to cope with Wawrinka’s power as the first five games were won by the multiple time grand slam champion. The world number 67 eventually got his serve going and started to unleash his powerful game upon Wawrinka. However it was too late as the world number 15 cruised to the first set in 24 minutes, 6-1.
The second set was much better from the Serbian as he began to build momentum and confidence on his own shots as he looked to stun his Swiss opponent. Troicki finally received his reward for his aggressive play as a powerful passing shot sealed a break for a 5-3 lead and a chance to win his fourth set in nine meetings.
However Wawrinka once again found one of his trademark backhand winners to break Troicki back and get back on serve in the second set. Here is the moment that Wawrinka produced the type of backhands that saw him win three grand slams:
As a result of Wawrinka’s excellent level, the second set would result in a tiebreak. The Swiss maestro rallied back, winning the last seven points to claim his ninth consecutive victory over Viktor Troicki. The win means Wawrinka has reached his first Semi-Final since Roland Garros, eight months ago. He will now play Maximillian Marterer or Mirza Basic in the last four.
In other results third seed Gilles Muller was left stunned as he suffered a 6-4 6-4 defeat to world number 93 Marius Copil. The Romanian blasted down 13 aces to secure a famous victory in an hour and 20 minutes. The 27 year old had reached consecutive indoor challenger Semi-Finals before losing his opening two matches of the 2018 season.
Copil will now face Jozef Kovalik in the last four as he defeated Marcos Baghdatis 7-6(2) 6-4 in just under two hours. The Slovakian Qualifier has won five matches in Sofia and showed no signs of slowing down as he completed a professional performance against the Cypriot veteran.