Wawrinka wastes big lead, loses another Australia 5-setter

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) — Stan Wawrinka has played plenty of memorable five-set matches at the Australian Open.

He’s won his fair share of them, too, including his epic quarterfinal match against Novak Djokovic en route to his title here in 2014, and two victories last year over Andreas Seppi and Daniil Medvedev in the second and fourth rounds.

Wawrinka nearly made it another in this year’s Australian Open, but he wasted a big lead in the fifth-set tiebreaker — and three match points — before falling to Marton Fucsovics of Hungary in the second round, 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 (9).

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, Wawrinka, a three-time major winner, said.

“From 6-1 (in the tiebreaker), I start to hesitate a little bit the way I was playing. I wanted to put the ball maybe too much in and I’m not going completely for my shot and that’s when I start to miss,” he said. “He was fighting well, he’s a tough player … and he deserved to win.”

Five unforced errors in the last seven points of the tiebreaker cost Wawrinka the match. It was that kind of day for the three-time major winner: he had 73 unforced errors overall, including 43 on his normally reliable one-handed backhand.

Fucsovics has now survived two five-set matches in his first two rounds, spending more than eight hours on court. “I feel like I’m dying,” he said.

“I’m really tired.”