Hungry For Success, Stan Wawrinka Knows His Limits
At the age of 33, Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka will be first to say that he is no spring chicken on the men’s tour.
The three-time grand slam champion is currently positioned third in the world, equalling his career best. Known as a player that shines on some of the biggest stages in tennis, this year is Wawrinka’s 15th on the tour. His longevity might not be as outstanding as him teammate Roger Federer, but the current US Open champion as at peace with that.
“I think what roger does has always been different to other players. He is a unique player. He has a unique mentality.” Wawrinka explained.
Last year Wawrinka became the oldest winner at Flushing Meadows since Ken Rosewall in 1970. Since turning 29, he has finished three consecutive seasons ranked inside the top-5, winning at least one grand slam title. Wawrinka’s late blossom is something others aspire to, but the 32-year-old knows when he has reached his limits.
“ I think so far has been good over the past ten years. I don’t try to play too much and take breaks during the season.” He said
“I think getting older it is more important to be careful.”
‘I enter the court to try to win’
The latest task in Wawrinka’s career is this week’s Monte Carlo Masters. Seeded third in the tournament, he overcame a second set blip to dismiss Jiri Vesely 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, on Wednesday. The victory saw the Swiss player hit 32 winners alongside 20 unforced errors. Wawrinka’s reward is a quarterfinal showdown against Pablo Cuevas in what will be their first tour meeting.
“He’s a great player, a tough player, especially on the clay.” Wawrinka said about Cuevas.“ I’ve practice with him a few times and it’s never been easy. So it’s going to be an interesting match.”
Wawrinka’s singles success comes as he crashed out in the doubles draw. Paired with Italy’s Fabio Fognini, the two lost in straight sets to second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. It was a case of what could have been for the Swiss/Italian duo, who squandered a 5-3 lead in the opening set.
“I did enjoy playing with him (Fognini), he’s a good friend in general. It was a great experience it was really nice.” Wawrinka said of his doubles experience in Monte Carlo.
With singles as his primary focus, it could be forgiven to expect Wawrinka to not be fully engaged in the doubles competition. Nevertheless, the world No.3 plays to win regardless of what he is participating in.
“When I enter the court I try to win. That is what we tried today (in the doubles). We had some chances in the first set, didn’t take it and that’s it.”
Wawrinka will play Cuevas in the second match on Court Rainier III on Thursday.