Bemused Stan Wawrinka Hits Out At Swiss Press - UBITENNIS
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Bemused Stan Wawrinka Hits Out At Swiss Press

The former world No.3 has accused reporters in his native country of being disrespectful towards him.

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Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland is pictured in action during day three of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 19, 2019.

Three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka has launched an attack on the media in his home country by saying he no longer enjoys talking with them.

 

Wawrinka shared his frustration earlier this week at the Swiss Indoors following his first round win over Pablo Cuevas. On two consecutive days he was asked about whether or not he can return back to his best form. Wawrinka has been blighted by injury in recent years and underwent knee surgery back in 2017. However, this season the Swiss player has been gradually regaining his form and has reached two ATP Finals this season.

“There is an impression here, in this room and in Switzerland, that I have not had a good year.” Wawrinka said during a press conference.
“I am exaggerating, but I have that feeling and, frankly, I have lost the joy of talking to the media in Switzerland. I’m 15th in the race, could theoretically qualify for the ATP finals. And you ask me: what are you missing to find your best level again?’
“Who won Grand Slam tournaments in the last few years? I’m the only one outside Big Four who has won three. This must not be forgotten.”

Continuing his response, the 34-year-old cites a duo of his 2019 milestones as reasons why others shouldn’t be critical of his performance. At present, he has won 31 out of 50 matches played this season, according to data provided by the ITF. Four of those wins have been over top 10 players Kei Nishikori (twice), Stefanos Tsitsipas and Djokovic.

“I’ve come back from a serious injury, I’m 15th in the race, was injured a month after the US Open and have just reached a final (in Antwerp). And I’m one of the few who beat Novak (Djokovic), even though he had to give up in the third set (at the US Open). And you ask me what’s missing to win a Grand Slam title again?” He argues.
“Everything I did this year makes it a very good year. I have regained my confidence, have beaten the very best again at certain times. Sure, I did not win any Grand Slam tournaments, but who won them (Nadal and Djokovic). I’m back in a position where I know what I will be capable of next year. And that was my goal for 2019. Would I like to finish in the Top 10 this year? Yes. Would I like to win a Grand Slam title? Yes. But you also have to be a realist.”

In a direct jibe at reporters, Wawrinka said he believes they have been ‘too spoiled’ by the success of the Swiss contingent. Which also includes 20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic. He argues that his year would have been appreciated more by the media if it was during another era where his compatriots hasn’t been as successful in the sport.

This week Wawrinka is 17th in the ATP rankings in what is his highest position since May 2018. It has been 29 months since his last won an ATP trophy at the 2017 Geneva Open. Despite the dry spell, he believes he still has what it takes to challenge for the biggest trophies in the sport.

“Who knows, maybe I’ll win a Grand Slam title next year? My career has always been in stages. I know where I stand now. I continue to play to win titles and beat the best. I had an incredible career and won almost everything that is possible for a tennis player. I would not have much interest in continuing to play if I could not continue to win tournaments.”

Wawrinka was scheduled to play Federer in the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors. However, he has been forced to pull out of the match due to a back injury. Federer will play either third seed Tsitsipas or Filip Krajinović in the last four on Saturday.

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Karen Khachanov edges Mikael Ymer in marathon match in Melbourne

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Karen Khachanov battled past Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) in a marathon match after 4 hours and 14 minutes.

 

Ymer broke serve twice in the second and fourth games of the fourth set to open up a 4-1 lead. Khachanov broke back in the seventh game, but Ymer broke for the third time to take the fourth set 6-3.

Khachanov broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2, but he was broken back in the next game.

Khachanov was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth set before trailing 6-8 in the decisive match tie-break. Khachanov came back by winning four consecutive points to clinch a thrilling win.

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin beat Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after 2 hours and 4 minutes setting up a third round match against Danil Medvedev. Popyrin broke twice in each of the first and third sets and saved all four break point chances.

Taylor Fritz came back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2. Anderson was leading by two sets and 4-2 in the third set, but Fritz broke back before winning the third set at the tie-break. Fritz cruised through the fourth and fifth sets. Fritz will face Dominic Thiem in the third round.

“That was huge for me. He played a really tough five setter just the other day and then obviously coming back. Going back to back five setters is going to be tougher for him than usual. I felt fresh, so I just told myself that I have to keep running”,said Fritz.

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Stan Wawrinka battles past Andreas Seppi in five sets to reach the third round in Melbourne

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Former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka rallied from losing the first set to beat Andreas Seppi 4-6 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-4 after 3 hours and 36 minutes reaching the third round for the first time in three years.

 

Wawrinka went up an early break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Seppi broke back in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Seppi broke for the second time with his forehand after two deuces in the 9th game and served out the first set at 15 in the 10th game.

Wawrinka earned three break points at 2-3 in the second set, but Seppi saved them. The Italian player saved another break point chance with his backhand at 3-4, before breaking serve in the ninth game.

Wawrinka broke back in the 10th game, when Seppi was serving for a two-set lead at 5-4 in the second set, and earned his second consecutive break in the 12th game to win the second set 7-5.

In the third set Wawrinka earned two break points with a forehand return. The Swiss player converted his second chance with a crosscourt forehand return winner and held his next service games to win the third set 6-3.

Seppi saved four break points in the seventh game of the fourth set before breaking serve in the eighth game. After going down a break at 3-4 in the fifth set, Wawrinka claimed two consecutive breaks in the 8th and 10th games to seal the win. Wawrinka secured his spot in the third round, where he will face Chile’s Alejandro Tablio 6-4 6-3 6-3.

“It was a tough five-setter that could have gone either way. I kept fighting and I am super happy to get through. The match against Isner will be tough. He is a very dangerous player. You don’t get a lot of opportunities. You need to stay strong, be aggressive, try to make him play as much as possible. That’s it. Stay positive all the match”,said Wawrinka.

 

 

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Andrey Rublev overcomes Yuichi Sugita to reach the third round at the Australian Open

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Number 17 seed and this year’s Doha and Adelaide champion Andrey Rublev extended his winning streak to ten consecutive matches with a 6-2 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win over Japan’s Yuichi Sugita after 1 hour and 53 minutes.

 

Rublev won 38 of his 42 first-service points and 8 of his 10 net points. Rublev earned two consecutive breaks in the seventh and ninth games to win the second set. Both players held serve in the third set. Sugita saved the only break point in the 12th game to hold his serve. Rublev sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his second match point.

The 22-year-old Russian player has dropped just three sets in ten matches and won back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide in the first two weeks of the 2020 season.

Rublev hit 20 aces and dropped only four first serve points and never faced a break point.

“The back injury was really tough. Even when I already started to play, I was feeling that I was still not there. Even when I came back after the back injury, it took me four, five months to start again to feel I am here, I am playing tennis again. I started telling to myself: “Try to enjoy, you are on court. Then, when the wrist injury happened, at the beginning it was even worse. Finally, when I play my first tournament, and actually I lost my first match, it was in Halle, I was 7-6 in the third against Mats Moraing. Inside I was feeling that even though I lost, I was a little bit happy that I am here. I am playing. I am enjoying it. From that time, I started to play better and better every week”.  

Rublev set up a third-round match against David Goffin, who beat Pierre Hughes Herbert 6-1 6-4 4-6 1-6 6-3. Rublev earned two breaks of serve in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Belgian player went up a double break in the fifth and seventh games to take a 5-2 lead. Herbert pulled one break back in the eighth game at love for 3-5. Goffin served out the second set in the 10th game. Goffin got an early break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Herbert broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Herbert sealed the third set 6-4 with a break in the 10th game. Herbert earned two breaks to race out to a 4-0 lead. Goffin got one break back in the fifth game at deuce, but he dropped his serve for the third time to lose the fourth set 1-6.

In the fifth set Herbert broke serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, but Goffin broke straight back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Both players traded breaks in the sixth and seventh games. Goffin sealed the win with a break in the eighth game to seal a thrilling win after 3 hours and six minutes.

Ernests Gulbis beat Aljaz Bedene 7-5 6-3 6-2 in 2 hours and 20 minutes. Gulbis saved all eight break points and broke four times. Gulbis sealed the first set with a late break at 6-5. The Latvian player got another break in the fifth game to clinch the second set 6-3 and raced out to a 6-2 win in the third set with two breaks of serve.

Gael Monfils came back from losing the first set to beat Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic 4-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 7-5. Monfils dropped his serve in the first game of the opening set. Karlovic missed a set point in the tie-break of the second set. Monfils earned two breaks in the third and fourth games to close out the match.

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