Resurgent Stan Wawrinka Eyes French Open Breakthrough - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Resurgent Stan Wawrinka Eyes French Open Breakthrough

It has been almost two years since the former top 10 player reached the second week of a grand slam tournament.

Avatar

Published

on

Stan Wawrtinka (photo by chryslène caillaud, Copyright @Sport Vision)

Four years have passed since Stan Wawrinka won the French Open and since then his journey on the tour has been far from plain sailing.

 

A knee injury sidelined the three-time grand slam champion for almost six months between 2017-2018. Upon recovery, he would require an additional three months off in order to continue his rehabilitation last year. A frustrating process that saw him drop to as low as 263rd in the world last June before he made a steady climb back into the world’s top 50.

Fortunately, things are now on the up for the Swiss player, who is currently ranked 27th in the world. In his opening match at Roland Garros, Wawrinka rallied to a 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-3, win over Jozef Kovalik. Earning his first win at the tournament since reaching the final two years ago. In 2018 he crashed out in the first round to Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

“I think in general, the match was quite good.” Said Wawrinka. “I think the third and fourth sets were really good. I was putting more energy into it. I was being more aggressive, playing more simple. And I’m happy in general to have won the first match.”

Heading into the clay-court major, Wawrinka has been far from his best. At both Rome and Geneva he suffered first-match losses. The Madrid Masters is currently the only clay event he has achieved back-to-back wins on so far this season. At the tournament he reached the quarter-finals before suffering a comprehensive defeat to king of clay Rafael Nadal.

“It’s tough to really say where I am right now. I think in practice court I’m playing really well. I didn’t find a way really to play really well in match the last few weeks except maybe Madrid a little bit.” He reflected.
“I’m still believing with myself, I know I’m ready for it, and hopefully it can arrive this tournament.”

Known as somebody who plays his best tennis on the biggest stages of the sport, Wawrinka was once seen as a major contender at every major prior to his injury woes. However, since Wimbledon 2017 he has only managed to score consecutive wins in a major tournament once. Doing so at the US Open last September.

Wawrinnka’s next match will be against Chile’s Christian Garin in what is likely to be a tough encounter. Garin, who is a former top five junior player, has already won two ATP titles on the clay this season. Doing so in Houston and Munich. He was also a finalist in Sao Paulo back in February.

“It’s a beautiful match to play. He’s an excellent player. He’s won a lot of matches this year on clay.” Wawrinka commented about his upcoming clash.

Garin won the French Open boys’ title back in 2013, exactly 10 years after Wawrinka did. In his opening match he dismissed Reilly Opelka 7-6(0), 7-5, 7-6(7), to record his first ever win in the main draw of a grand slam as a professional player.

“I’m really happy. This year has been an amazing year for me, so I’m really happy to be in the second round of Roland Garros.” Said Garin.

The upcoming match will be the first meeting between the two players on the tour.

ATP

Stan Wawrinka Parts Way With Long-Time Coach Norman

Stan the man is on the look out for a new coach for the first time in almost a decade.

Avatar

Published

on

It is the end of an era for three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka after he announced his split from coach Magnus Norman.

 

The former world No.3 confirmed on Monday that the two have decided to end their collaboration with ‘mutual consent’ following eight years working together on the Tour. Norman was last with Wawrinka at the Italian Open last week where the Swiss player lost his opening match to rising star Lorenzo Musetti. It is unclear as to exactly when the decision was made.

“After 8 great years together Magnus Norman and I have decided to part ways by mutual consent. We have had an amazingly strong, enjoyable and hugely successful partnership. We reached the height of this sport together and I want to thank him for helping me win everything that I could ever dream of winning,” Wawrinka said in a statement posted on Instagram.

44-year-old Norman is a former world No.2 player himself who reached the final of the French Open back in 2000. During his coaching career, he guided Wawrinka to various milestones in his career that includes 13 ATP titles with three of those being at Grand Slam level. The Swede has also been recognized by the ATP for his work with Wawrinka after winning the inaugural Coach of the Year award back in 2016.

“He’s been a great coach, friend and mentor and will always be a dear friend,” Wawrinka said in a tribute.
“I want to publicly thank him for all his hard work, dedication and commitment in making me a better player over the years. Winning three grand slams have been a life changing experience for me and I could not have done that without him. I wish him all the best in his next chapter in his life.”

The announcement from the world No.17 comes a week before the French Open starts. Wawrinka has been training on the clay for the past few weeks after deciding against travelling to North America to play in the US Open. Instead, he played in a couple Challenger events and won a trophy in Prague last month. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 15-3 so far in 2020.

It is unclear as to who will be replacing Norman in Wawrinka’s team.

Continue Reading

ATP

Novak Djokovic Survives Krajinovic Battle To Seal Last Eight Berth In Rome

Novak Djokovic reached an 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic (@ATPTour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic survived a tough battle in Rome to beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(7) 6-3 to reach the last eight.

 

Although the World Number one got the victory, it was a tough battle as he fought his compatriot for a place in the Quarter-Finals.

Breaks were shared to start the match as Krajinovic brought his fearless game to the top seed.

Djokovic created a total of ten break points, with only one executed as Krajinovic saved two set points in the tenth game to hold for 5-5.

After two comfortable holds, a tiebreak settled the winner of the first set as Djokovic was having a hard time to contain Krajinovic’s power.

The world number one battled from 3-0 down to edge the tiebreak 9-7 and win the opening set in 88 minutes.

Once Djokovic had survived the Krajinovic stormed, he took control and went into another gear as a break of serve in the third game was all that was needed to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

Winning 47% of his 2nd return points was key as Djokovic reaches his 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final of his career.

Next for Djokovic will be either talented teen sensation Lorenzo Musetti or Dominik Koepfer.

In other results today, Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov set a last eight showdown after tight three set wins.

Shapovalov edged out Ugo Humbert 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 while Dimitrov defeated Jannik Sinner 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a tough match.

There were also third round wins for Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini.

Continue Reading

ATP

Rafael Nadal Missing Fan Support Despite Emphatic Win At Italian Open

The 19-time Grand Slam winner reacts to his latest win 200 days after his last.

Avatar

Published

on

Rafael Nadal (image via https://twitter.com/InteBNLdItalia)

The absence of a crowd at this year’s Italian Masters has been branded as ‘not beautiful’ by Rafael Nadal following his opening match on Wednesday.

 

The world No.2 raced to a 6-1, 6-1, triumph over US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta in what was his first competitive match of any sort since March 1st. Despite his lengthy break from the Tour, Nadal showed little rust as he dropped only eight points behind his serve and broke the world No.18 five times overall. The latest victory is Nadal’s 62nd in Rome and he has only won more matches at four other tournaments.

“Of course I have to improve things. The things that I have to improve, the only way to improve is to keep practising with the right attitude, the right intensity and to spend hours in competition matches,” he said afterwards.
“Today has been a positive start for me,”
Nadal later added.

Choosing to skip the New York bubble due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nadal is still getting used to the concept of playing without the crowds. Something many of his rivals has already had experience of. The Italian Open had originally hoped to allow fans to enter its grounds before the local authorities ruled against it over concerns it could trigger an outbreak of the Coronavirus.

“It’s Not beautiful the feeling of playing without the spectators because the energy of the fans is impossible to describe. But for me, at least, today has been a very positive comeback,” Nadal assessed.

It is a case of wait and see as to how the Spaniard will fare in the coming days given his recent lack of match play compared to his rivals such as Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic. Fortunately for Nadal, he is playing on the clay which is a surface which he has won more ATP titles on than any other player in the Open Era. As for the upcoming French Open, will a lack of play in recent weeks be problematic for him?

“I don’t think so, no. If Roland Garros was this week, maybe yes. Roland Garros is two weeks away.” He concluded.

Nadal will next play either Milos Raonic or Dusan Lajovic who will play their second round match on Thursday.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending