Top seed Stan Wawrinka won the Japan Open on Sunday after thrashing Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-2 6-4 in a one-sided final to capture his fourth title of the year.
French Open champion Wawrinka needed just 65 minutes to complete victory in Tokyo with Paire, who underwent a scan on his swollen left ankle before the match, clearly struggling.
Fierce pressure from Wawrinka earned the Swiss a break for 4-2 in the first set and he pressed home his advantage with a thumping crosscourt forehand which wrong-footed his close friend Paire.
With little left in the tank after toppling defending champion Kei Nishikori in Saturday’s semi-finals, Paire took a tumble early in the second set but gamely battled on despite his obvious discomfort.
The “lucky” sneakers held together by tape he wore in his victory over Nishikori granted Paire no such mystical powers against Wawrinka as he looked to become the first Swiss to win the Japan Open since Roger Federer in 2006.
Several times Wawrinka’s dipping one-handed backhand, one of the most potent weapons in men’s tennis, fizzed past a grimacing Paire, who finally succumbed with a double-fault on match point.
Wawrinka, who has won 11 career titles, is a perfect 4-0 in finals this year after winning in Chennai, Rotterdam and Roland Garros.