Damir Dzumhur survives Stan Wawrinka onslaught to claim ‘biggest’ win of his career in Dubai

An actor in his early teens with two movies on his CV, Bosnian Damir Dzumhur created a sensation at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday by knocking out defending champion Stan Wawrinka.

Damir Dzumhur defeated Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday. Tom Dulat / Getty Images
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An actor in his early teens with two movies on his CV, Bosnian Damir Dzumhur created a sensation at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday by knocking out defending champion Stan Wawrinka.

Biggest win

“I think this win is bigger,” said Dzumhur, 24, when asked to compare his win over world No 3 Wawrinka and the triumph over Tomas Berdych, the then No 7, at last year’s Monte Carlo Masters. “Because this win was on a hard court against a player who likes this surface, who won the tournament last year. Against Berdych, it was clay, the one that I like more. Definitely have more chances on clay against Tomas than on hard against Stan.”

Difficult start

“He was playing outstanding there,” said Dzumhur, who was down 1-4 after a whirlwind Wawrinka start. “He was just hitting every ball. I couldn’t even touch the ball. I didn’t have a chance to do anything. So I knew that it’s not too much about my game. It’s about his day. If he’s going to play like that, he’s gonna win, I cannot do anything.”

Fighting and grinding

“I was hoping he’s gonna go down with his level of game, and that’s what happened,” said Dzumhur, who turned things around admirably. “After winning the first game, I started to fight, to grind, and I found some way to play, to stay in the game. Playing longer points was giving me more chances.”

Tense finish

“My serve was working very well until that last game of 5-1,” said Dzumhur, who committed three double faults as he served for the match. “I got a little bit tight. I felt it. And Stan felt it, too. So he just tried to put some balls in the court. It’s not easy to finish a game with those players. They know how to play when they are down, when they want to come back. But, yeah, I found a way in the end.”

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