Chennai, India (Sports Network) - Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland earned a three-set win over Belgium's Xavier Malisse to capture the title at the season-opening Chennai Open.
The third-seeded Wawrinka posted a 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 victory in Sunday's final to claim his third career ATP singles crown and first on a surface other than clay. He won in Casablanca last year to end a four-year victory drought, as his first ATP crown came in 2006 at Umag.
"I'm more than happy, it was a perfect week," said Wawrinka. "I improved my game day after day and finished with a great match. It's amazing to have the trophy today. It's a perfect start to the year."
Wawrinka improved to 3-6 all-time in title matches and was playing in the Chennai final for the second year in a row. He lost to Marin Cilic last year.
Malisse was trying for his fourth career title and second at this event, having previously won it in 2007. It was the 30-year-old veteran's first final since winning the Delray Beach crown in February 2007. He fell to 3-9 all-time in title matches.
"It feels really good to be back in a final after four years," Malisse noted. "I'm just happy to be healthy and to be on the court and playing well."
Wawrinka took control of the third set from the outset, winning the first three games with a break of serve. He broke again for 5-1 before holding serve to finish the match.
"After the second set, I could see that he got a bit tired so I tried to maintain my game," Wawrinka added. "Today the key of the match was that I stayed aggressive in the third set."
The victory in the Australian Open tuneup was worth a first prize of $68,850.
01/09 10:53:02 ET