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Tennis

Wawrinka starts 2016 on a winning note

World No 4 Stan Wawrinka beat Borna Coric to win the ATP Chennai Open title
World No 4 Stan Wawrinka beat Borna Coric to win the ATP Chennai Open title Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

French Open champion and top seed Stanislas Wawrinka started the 2016 season on a winning note by claiming the men’s singles title at the ATP Chennai Open in the southern Indian city of Chennai on Sunday.

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The Swiss star beat Croatian teenager Borna Coric 6-3, 7-5 to claim the Chennai Open title for a third consecutive year.

Speaking after the match, Wawrinka said that he was expecting a really tough encounter.

“Today again for me was a really tough one, I had to play my best game. I would like to congratulate Borna for his first final, first tournament of the year,” he said.

The world No 4 not only pocketed $75,700 and earned 250 ranking points but also a perfect warm-up for the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on 18 January.

“It's a really important tournament for me to start here. I love to come back here. It's the perfect condition to start in,” the 30-year-old Swiss said.

“Tonight with the trophy, it's a really great feeling ... I'm going to enjoy this trophy first and see what's going to happen in the Australian Open.”

Two years ago, Wawrinka had followed his triumph at the Chennai Open by beating Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final three weeks later, his first Grand Slam title.

And in 2015, after winning in Chennai, Wawrinka defeated Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros to win the French Open in June.

Eighth-seeded Coric, who earned $39,870 and 150 points, had hoped to become this year's Chennai Open champion in his first appearance at the tournament but said his opponent's “serve, backhand, forehand” got the best of him.

“I knew it was going to be a very tough match ... but it was a very nice tournament and I have enjoyed being here,” said Coric, who is the youngest player in the world top 50.

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