February 10, 2018 / 6:25 PM / 4 months ago

Tennis - Energetic Basic shocks Wawrinka in Sofia to reach maiden final

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bosnian qualifier Mirza Basic bludgeoned his way to a shock 7-6(6) 6-4 victory over top seed Stan Wawrinka to set up an intriguing title clash against big-serving Romanian Marius Copil as the two players reached their maiden ATP final.

Wawrinka, looking to play himself back into form after a long layoff due to a knee surgery, saved two set points in the opening tiebreak but Basic won it with a thundering serve that gave the 32-year-old Swiss no chance.

The aggressive Bosnian, playing his sixth match this week, showed no nerves in the second set, sending fizzing forehands across court and down the lines beyond Wawrinka.

“It’s a big win for me but there’s one more game and now I have to focus on the final,” 26-year-old Basic said in a courtside interview after his first victory over a player ranked among the top 20 in the world.

Basic will face world number 93 Copil in the final in Armeets Arena on Sunday.

The Romanian put on a clinical display to power past Slovakian qualifier Jozef Kovalik 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 34 minutes and also reached his maiden ATP final.

“After Australia, where I lost in the first round, I was very disappointed. I went back home and I had two weeks of very hard practices. I practiced a lot, especially my serve,” the 27-year-old Copil said after his fourth consecutive straight-sets win in Sofia.

“Not losing a set here gives me a lot of confidence.”

Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Ed Osmond

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