They both came into the tournament at one match all after their last meet. Stan Wawrinka on tour for almost two decades wasn’t the heavy favourite in this tennis feat but he gave it a strong try. Despite his loss of 4-6, 5-7 at his third-round match in Russia to Shapovalov, getting match time it was the only way to improve his victory chances.
The Swiss’ career history with three grand slams proves he’s a champion, but today’s competitive youth are nipping at his heels ready to snatch any set or match possible. There may be some more strategy tricks in Stan Wawrinka’s tennis bag but executing them at the right time, place and competitor may be a heavy compromise.
He made it through the quarterfinals in three of four tournaments and even won a title when taking a chance at a Prague Challenger. The Australian Open and the Mexican event he’d also stayed in as a consistent quarterfinalist.
Does Stan Wawrinka have what it takes to go deep and capture more titles? He just may. “I’m not at my best yet,” Wawrinka said optimistically when he’d defeated Aslan Karatsev of Russia in straight sets at the Challenger.
It was his first time back on the competitive court since the coronavirus pandemic had shut down all tours for nearly six months. The return and victory of a title be it a Challenger or not is a huge feat. The French Open had proven to Wawrinka and many of his competitors know he shouldn’t be taken lightly.
They have seen he had dug his way through 5-gruelling sets losing to the Frenchman Hugo Gaston on his home soil. The Swiss seem able to tackle long matches as well as the traditional three-setters. It’s his sharpened snapping backhand that has also given many players, NextGen and veterans astonishment at trying to handle.
Wawrinka also knows when to fold them and did that on not returning to New York to participate in the Western and Southern and U.S. Open tournaments due to the world health crisis still actively present.
“It was the best match of the week.
I was serving well,”
the Swiss said on returning back after a dismal six-month hiatus. He had proven to himself that he can make a comeback and win. “It was nice to come back here and play a Challenger…especially after so many months away.”
The Swiss is proving that the time away and just to practice and analyze his competitive game was well worth it. It was his play with Shapovalov that tells him he still not only has to sharpen his game a bit more but that he can hold his stance and is on the right route for success.
The time on court is always beneficial and as he had emphasized before that as long as “I feel good…” the victories will come.