Stan Wawrinka: "It's great to see Roger Federer back to his best level" - UBITENNIS
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Stan Wawrinka: “It’s great to see Roger Federer back to his best level”



Stan Wawrinka beat Jo Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Australian Open. He remains on course to win his second title in Melbourne three years after his first ever Grand Slam trophy.


“It’s not easy to play against Tsonga. The beginning of the match was quite tense from both sides. We were a little bit looking too much what the other will do, waiting a little bit the other to do something on the court. I think conditions were not easy. Conditions were quite fast today and it was a bit windy, flying a little bit. It was important to serve well. It was not easy to control. I started to move a bit better, to be a bit more aggressive from the first shot. I think that’s made the difference.”

Wawrinka won the most important points at this year’s Australian Open and this helped him win five consecutive tie-breaks.

“So far it’s been good but you never know what’s going to happen after. I think today was the best match of the tournament. I had great focus all the match. I found a way to break him a few time salso. I am really happy to get in the semifinal again. It’s a great result. I will enjoy tonight and get ready for the next one”

Wawrinka set up a blockbuster all-Swiss semifinal against Roger Federer, who beat Mish Zverev in straight sets.

“It’s going to be a great match. Last time I think I got killed in the US Open. He was playing way better than me, moving really well, really aggressive from the court. It’s going to be an interesting match. He is playing so well since the beginning of the tournament. He had a little bit some hesitation in the first two rounds, but since then he is really flying on the court. It’s great to see him back at this level. Hopefully I can manage to play a great match.”

Wawrinka feels more confident after winning three Grand Slam titles than when Federer was ahead of him in the ranking.

“I am more confident with myself. When I step on the court, it doesn’t matter who I play. I know what I have to do if I want to win. It’s always to play against Roger because he is so good. He is the best player of all time. He has answer for everything but I managed to beat him in a Grand Slam, so we’ll see. The most important thing is that I step on the court and I play my best tennis.”

Wawrinka has benefited from his successful relationship to Coach Magnus Norman, who has contributed to Stan’s Grand Slam titles and his rise in the ranking.

“I am really happy to have him in my team. I think he is not only an amazing coach but an amazing coach. For sure he found a way how to change my career. Since he arrived, I have won three Grand Slam titles, finished in top four for three years in a row. It’s always to have someone who can push your limit. I think I enjoy to have him here as a coach, as a friend. We have a lot of things hopefully for many more years. It’s great to be in the semifinal and see what I have done in the off-season. It was good work that I am feeling well on the court, that I am strong enough to beat some tough players and make another semifinal. I don’t want to stop here. It’s going to be a tough match.”

Federer leads 18-3 in his 21 head-to-head matches against Wawrinka and won their previous two matches in the US Open semifinals and in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London in 2015. Wawrinka won for the last time against his compatriot in the quarter finals at 2015 Roland Garros.

“The match against Roger which stands out most is the final we played in Monaco. Winning a Masters 1000 title was something special, especially a few months after winning my first Grand Slam title. It was a tough final. It was three sets. I have great memories of this match. When I step on the court, it’s always something special because he is the best player because of everything he has done in his career, because the way he is playing, because he is Swiss, because he is a really close friend, because of everything we have been doing together, Davis Cup, Olympics. It’s always something special. The most important is that I try as much as I can to focus on myself, that I step on the court to try to win, to try to find a way to win the match”

After Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were knocked out from the Australian Open, Wawrinka is one of the strongest favourites to win the first Grand Slam title of the season.

“For me being in the semifinal, if you look on the paper, it’s only two matches, but it’s really far from winning. I have been in the semifinal a few times. I lost them. I start to think about winning a Grand Slam title if I get to the final. That’s the only moment I start to think about the trophy”




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Is Iga Swiatek On Her Way To Becoming A Roland Garros Legend?



Rafa Nadal couldn’t have done it better.


There was Iga Swiatek dominating another top 10 opponent on the court Rafa loves so much, while her favourite player is still sidelined by hip surgery and expects his legendary career to come to a close next year.

Indeed, Swiatek may be on her way to becoming a legend herself on Court Philippe Chatrier at the French Open. The Polish Wonder already owns two titles at Roland Garros and is in line to possibly win two more matches there over the next three days for a third French title.

Of course, that’s a long way from the number of titles Nadal has won in the Paris Grand Slam. Fourteen titles sound like an out-of-reach dream for anyone to capture at the same Grand Slam, even the 22-year-old Swiatek.


The top-ranked Swiatek was on her game in Wednesday’s quarterfinals, starting strong and then winning nine of the last 12 games against young Coco Gauff in a 6-4, 6-2 win over last year’s runner-up.

Gauff played her usual aggressive game, but at times appeared to go for too much too often. She appeared to overpower Swiatek at times with her big serve, but only on first serves. Otherwise, the 19-year-old American didn’t seem to have her weapons under control much of the match.


No one in the women’s game anticipates better than Swiatek. She always appears to be ready for the next shot.

Opponents can never count Iga out. And allowing her to get ahead in a match is almost like turning over the controls to Swiatek, who already owns three Grand Slam titles and has now advanced to the semifinals in four of her last six Grand Slams.

Swiatek jumped out to a 3-1 lead against the sixth-ranked Gauff, then dropped a pair of games before taking full charge of the match.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at 

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Casper Ruud Topples Rune To Reach French Open Semis



Casper Ruud came out on top in his all-Scandinavian clash with Holger Rune to seal his place in the semi-finals of the French Open. 


Ruud, who is seeded fourth in the draw, battled to a 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, win over his Danish opponent in what was a topsy-turvy encounter on the Philippe Chatrier Court. It is the second year in a row that the Norwegian has defeated Rune in the last eight of Roland Garros and he now leads their head-to-head 6-1. He is through to the last four of a major for only the third time in his career. 

“I’m very relieved. I came into this match trying to not play with pressure but it is not easy when you’re playing a big match against Holger who is never easy,” Rune said during his post-match interview. “He is very aggressive. Luckily for me the first two sets he wasn’t feeling it too well. He made a lot of errors and I got a lot of points for free.’
“That helped settle my nerves but he fought back in the third set. In the fourth set, I was lucky to keep that break.”

The highly anticipated nighttime clash began in one-way fashion with Ruud claiming 12 out of the first 15 games with relative ease as an erratic Rune struggled to find his game on the court, hitting a total of 40 unforced errors during the first two sets. 

It wasn’t until the third frame that Ruud finally faced some resistance on the court as his opponent orchestrated the crowd to get behind him. Prompting the 20-year-old to hit a series of impressive shots to revive his hopes.

However, Rune’s comeback was short-lived as Ruud broke once more midway through the fourth set as he moved to a game away from victory. He earned his first match point at 5-2 following a double fault from his rival but failed to convert. Two more opportunities then came and went for Ruud before he managed to serve the match out in the following game.

“I think I did well,” he replied when asked about how he handled his nerves. “I kind of looked at it (the match) as if he was the favourite. He won the last time we played and he has had a better year than me so far.’
“He was hoping to get into his first (Grand Slam) semi-final and I was hungry to get into another semi-final. Luckily it worked out well for me.”

Awaiting the 24-year-old in the semi-finals on Friday will be Alexander Zverev who defeated Tomás Martín Etcheverry in four sets. He trails their head-to-head 1-2 but they have never faced each other on clay. 

“Ruud has been there before. He was in the final here last year, so he knows exactly what it means and what it takes,” Zverev told reporters.  

Ruud is now 16-5 this season when it comes to playing matches on the clay. Since the start of 2020, he has registered 86 wins on the surface which is more than any other player on the ATP Tour.

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Alexander Zverev Reaches French Open Semis 12 Months After Horrific Injury



Alexander Zverev says there is still work to be done at the French Open after sealing his place in the semi-finals of the tournament on Wednesday. 


The world No.27 battled to a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, win over Argentine underdog Tomas Martin Etcheverry in a match that featured numerous lengthy rallies. After dropping the second set, Zverev then had to bounce back from a break down at the start of the third before restoring his lead. Overall, he hit 45 winners to 44 unforced errors and converted five out of 11 break point opportunities. 

“I’m happy to be in a semifinal of a Grand Slam any time that I’m there but for me, the tournament is not over,” Zverev said during his press conference.
“I’m happy to be here, but I know that hopefully I have two more matches ahead, and they’re not going to get easier.”

It is the third consecutive season that Zverev has reached the last four at Roland Garros and the sixth time he has done so at a Grand Slam so far in his career. He has now won 13 consecutive matches against players ranked outside of the top 20 at the French Open. 

Unlike his previous Grand Slam runs, this one is perhaps more sweeter for the German considering what he has been through over the past year. At the clay court major in 2022, he took on Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals where he suffered a severe ankle injury that ended up sidelining him from competition for seven months.

“I couldn’t play for the first seven months of my injury. Then for the next three, four months, I was still in pain. I wasn’t able to move the way I wanted to.” Zverev recounted.
“I think I’m at a stage now where I’m not thinking about the injury so much anymore. I’m not thinking about what happened. I’m just happy to be back where I was last year, and I have another chance. Hopefully I can take it.”

Despite his credentials, Zverev has only featured in the final of a major tournament once before. That was at the 2020 US Open where he led Dominic Thiem by two sets to love before losing the match in five. 

His record is a stark contrast to that on the ATP Tour where he has reached 30 finals, winning 19 titles. His collection includes two ATP Finals trophies, a gold medal from the Tokyo Olympics and five Masters 1000 crowns.

“Grand Slams are tennis history. That’s what you play for. I think the two most important things in tennis are Grand Slams and the Olympic Games.” He said.
“When you are in a semifinal or final of either of those, I think that’s very different from being in a final of another tournament.”

Zverev is aiming to become the first German man to reach a French Open final since Michael Stich in 1996. 

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