Stan Wawrinka Talks About Playing In The Shadows Of Roger Federer

Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer (zimbio.com)

At third in the world, Stan Wawrinka has rightfully earned his place among the world’s elite on the men’s tour. The achievements of the Swiss player are impressive, but they still fail to impact those of his close friend Roger Federer.

The three-time grand slam champion scored his latest win at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday. Facing Austria’s Dominic Thiem, Wawrinka battled to his first ever semifinal in the tournament after coming through a three-set thriller. His reward is an encounter with Spanish underdog Pablo Carreno Busta in what will be his ninth semifinal appearance in a Masters 1000 tournament.

“The level was really high tonight. I’m really happy the way I was playing, the way I find a way to win it. He’s a strong player, really tough to play. I think in general we play both really high level, and the match was only one, two points.” Wawrinka said following his win over Thiem.

As Wawrinka enjoys a day off on Friday, Federer will take to the court for his blockbuster clash against Nick Kyrgios. Once again, Federer fever will strike Indian Wells with his army of fans turning up to support him and an entourage of media figures ready to question him after his match. The situation is somewhat different compared to Wawrinka, who didn’t attract such a daunting media presence in his Thursday press conference.

Throughout his career, Wawrinka has had to settle for second best due to his compatriots record-breaking career. Some might grow jealous in this situation, but for a player nicknamed ‘stanimal’, it is an experience that he has made him a better player.

“I always try to look at the positive for a situation. I think growing up behind Roger, it doesn’t matter how you want to call it, it was great for me.” He said.
“He is the best player ever No. 1 player. I shared some amazing moments (with him) at Davis Cup, Olympics, a lot of practice experience. So it helped me a lot to make me the player I am now.”

During moments of their careers, the friendship between the two Swiss tennis greats has been strained. During the 2014 ATP Tour Finals, an argument erupted when Federer’s wife Mirka allegedly heckled Wawrinka throughout their clash. It was an incident which made world headlines, but relations between the two are now are more peaceful.

“We have a great relationship. He’s a great friend. We always enjoy being on the tour in the same tournament.” Wawrinka about about Federer.

Few will dispute Wawrinka’s ability to shine on the big stages of tennis. Throughout his career, he has won 15 titles, including three grand slam trophies. It is a sobering reality that Wawrinka will never get a following similar to that of his Davis Cup teammate, but it is failing to deter his passion for the sport.

“I’m really happy with my career. I won three Grand Slams last three years. I think it’s more than what I could expect.” He said.
“I also know that all I want is to win tournaments and I’m trying to do that.”

How Does Wawrinka compare to Federer?

Stan Wawrinka Roger Federer
World ranking

3

10

Grand slam titles

3

18

Career earnings (before Indian Wells)

$28,460,822

$101,639,185

Twitter followers

1.08 M

6.75 M

Facebook likes

743, 448

14.69 M

NOTE: Figures via atptour/ social media (17/3/17)

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