Wawrinka's mind wanders, but advances in Cincinnati
World number one Novak Djokovic cruised through his opening match at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati on Wednesday, but Stan Wawrinka had to dig deep to beat Borna Coric and conceded his thoughts had been far from tennis over the past few days.
French Open champion Wawrinka said he had yet to receive an apology from Nick Kyrgios for the Australian's incendiary comment during their match last week.
Kyrgios, 20, drew the ire of the tennis world in Montreal after he insulted Wawrinka at the Rogers Cup, saying that another Australian player, Thanasi Kokkinakis, had slept with Wawrinka's girlfriend.
Though Kyrgios later apologised via Twitter for his comments, he was slapped with two separate fines by the ATP who also raised the possibility the Australian could be suspended.
Wawrinka did not hear the comment at the time, only learning later that it had been audible on television. He admitted after his victory on Wednesday that the past week had been difficult.
"For the past few days for sure my head was not really into the tennis," Wawrinka told Sky Sports television after his 3-6 7-6(3) 6-3 win over Croatian teen Coric.
"What happened people don't see exactly what the consequences are for everybody so I'm trying to put away.
"Today I'm happy with the way I fight. I was playing really bad tennis but most important is the win."
Wawrinka was then asked if he was happy with the way that Kyrgios, who lost his opening match in Cincinnati, had apologised for the incident.
"He didn't apologise so no, but I prefer not to talk about him, thank you," said Wawrinka.
Wawrinka, playing his first match since the incident, started slowly against Coric and the Croatian claimed the opening set.
The 18-year-old then took Wawrinka to a tiebreak in the second but his first double fault of the match gave his opponent three set points and the Swiss seized the opening to level the match.
Wawrinka then dominated the third set and clinched victory in two hours and 17 minutes.
"For sure he's playing amazing tennis," said Wawrinka, who will face another Croat, Ivo Karlovic, in the next round. "He's really young. It's just the beginning of his career. He's going to be a great player."
Top seed Djokovic cruised through his opener against Benoit Paire, beating the Frenchman 7-5 6-2 to set up a third-round clash with Belgian 13th seed David Goffin.
In other matches, 12th-seed Richard Gasquet beat Kokkinakis 7-6(5) 6-2 while South Africa's Kevin Anderson beat American Jack Sock 6-3 7-6(6).