The Swiss was occasionally bamboozled by the Czech veteran's
serve-and-volley game but kept his composure to triumph on Hisense
The pair exchanged breaks, and a plethora of line-call challenges,
in a thoroughly entertaining third set before Stepanek went long to
send Wawrinka into the third round for the eighth year in a row.
"Really happy," the 30-year-old said. "It was a good match in
general. Three sets win against Stepanek."
Stepanek was hoping to become the oldest player to reach the third
round of a grand slam since Jimmy Connors in 1991 and unlocked his
full bag of tricks in the attempt.
French Open champion Wawrinka has never been a slouch around the
court, however, and enjoyed clear superiority when he was able to
dictate points from the baseline.
Wawrinka will next meet another Czech, Lukas Rosol, in the half of
the draw left weakened by the first round exit of Rafa Nadal.
Wawrinka's first round match against Dmitry Tursunov lasted only two
sets before the 33-year-old Russian retired hurt but he declared
himself happy with how the tournament was going for him.
[to top of second column]
"So far it's been okay," he added. "Two matches, two victories.
"Today was a really good level on the tennis side.
"Just focus on every match, trying to rest between, trying to be
ready for the next one."
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney Editing by Alison Williams and Justin
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