Veteran Wawrinka Rekindles Fire With Rare Win In Rome

Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka serves USA’ Reilly Opelka during their first-round match at the ATP Rome Open tennis tournament on May 9, 2022 at Foro Italico in Rome. Andreas SOLARO / AFP


Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka insisted he still has “fire” in him after picking up his first victory in over a year with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over American Reilly Opelka in the first round of the Italian Open on Monday.

The 37-year-old, who has tumbled from his best ranking of number three in the world to 361st, last tasted success in the opening round of the 2021 Australian Open when he beat Marton Fucsovics in five sets.

This year he had previously lost in the opening rounds in the only two tournaments he had entered, in Marbella then Monte Carlo, after struggling with a long-term foot injury that has dogged him since 2019.

“After two surgeries, at my age, I could easily stop playing… but I still have this fire in me,” said Wawrinka.

“I still believe that I can play great tennis. I still believe that I make some big results, maybe not now, but in a few months.”

The crowd cheered warmly as the three-time Grand Slam winner completed victory over the world number 17 Opelka, a semi-finalist here last year, in just over two hours.

“It feels great because so much time I was away from tennis,” he said.

“I was completely outside of the tour. I did a lot of hard work to come back, so it feels great to finally win a match, to see that things are getting better.

“I still need a few more months to feel really where I want to be. I still have a lot of hard work to do, to play better, to have that time on the court, in the gym and all.”

“Physically I was feeling great. For sure when you don’t win a match in more than a year, you start to think always about it more than what you should and not focus on the right things,” said Wawrinka.

“I stayed positive. I started to feel much better with my tennis by the end of the second set, and the third set. I’m really happy with this victory.”


Wawrinka Breaks Down Medvedev Wall In Five-Set Thriller

Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka reacts after a point against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev during their men’s singles match on day eight of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 27, 2020.


Former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka turned back the clock in a vintage performance to stun world number four, Daniil Medvedev, Monday and race into the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The popular Swiss star, who beat Rafael Nadal in the 2014 decider, dug deep to come from behind in five intense sets and win 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2.

It set up a last-eight clash with either Russian 17th seed Andrey Rublev or German seventh seed Alexander Zverev.

“Another amazing match,” said Wawrinka, who is into his 18th Grand Slam quarter-final, behind only Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray among active players.

“The level was super-high and the atmosphere is so special here in Australia.

“It’s amazing to still be playing and at that level. I’m really happy with what I’m doing on the court.”

Three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka has not won a title since pocketing the 16th of his career on the Geneva clay in 2017, with two bouts of surgery on his left knee pushing him to the brink of retirement.

A lengthy absence from the tour meant his world ranking plunged, but he has climbed back to world number 15 after runs last year to the last eight at Roland Garros and the US Open.

Beating Medvedev brought up another milestone in Wawrinka’s illustrious career — it was his 300th Tour-level win.

Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka gives a hug to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev (L) after their men’s singles match on day eight of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 27, 2020.


It was classic Wawrinka in the first set, with the 34-year-old playing some of his best tennis in a long time.

He broke to go 3-1 in front and then again to take the set in 32 minutes of precision and power, with the Russian struggling to match him around the court.

But Medvedev came roaring back to break and take a 3-1 lead in the second set as Wawrinka lost his range, breaking again to take the set in emphatic fashion.

The 23-year-old built on his advantage early in the third set, with his serve making life hard for Wawrinka who struggled to create chances and had trouble applying the finishing touch at the net.

In contrast, Medvedev was hitting winners and broke for 4-3 before sealing the set.

They traded blows in a tight fourth set, desperately arm-wrestling for the edge with a tiebreaker needed and Wawrinka showing his experience to prevail and send it to a deciding set, where the writing was on the wall.

Medvedev had played five career five-setters and lost them all, while veteran Wawrinka had 50 under his belt and a 28-22 record.

He turned the screws, breaking the Russian’s opening service game then staving off three break points to go 3-1 in front, with no way back for the fourth seed.


ATP: Medvedev Sets Up Last 16 Clash With Wawrinka

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev hits a return against Australia’s Alexei Popyrin during their men’s singles match on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 25, 2020.
William WEST / AFP


World number four Daniil Medvedev eased past Alexei Popyrin in straight sets Saturday to set up a last-16 clash with former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka.

The tall Russian had few problems dispatching the unseeded Australian 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena as he steps up his quest for a maiden Grand Slam crown.

“I knew it was not going to be easy and happy to win in straight sets,” said Medvedev, insisting he had no expectations in Melbourne.

“(But) of course every time no matter what tournament I’m super disappointed (if I lose).

“Hopefully I can win seven matches here, but very tough.”

He now plays experienced 2014 champion Wawrinka after the Swiss got an easy ride through his clash against John Isner, with the American retiring injured while losing 6-4, 6-1.

Wawrinka, a former world number three who has never returned to his best since knee surgery in 2017, said he was happy to be in the second week of a Slam once again.

“I think I was playing well again today,” he said. “I was really happy the way I was moving, the way I was playing.

“That’s very positive. It’s great to be back in the second week, that’s for sure. Feeling way better.”

Popyrin conceded an early break and was never allowed into the match by a man seeded behind only the Big Three of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

After Medvedev rattled through the first set, Popyrin went off for treatment for a leg problem midway through the second.

When he returned the Russian was ruthless, wrapping up the set then completing a routine victory, using his strength and big serve to good effect.


Murray Wins First ATP Title Since 2017

Britain’s Andy Murray reacts as he plays against Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka during their men’s single tennis final match of the European Open ATP Antwerp, on October 20, 2019 in Antwerp. JOHN THYS / BELGA / AFP


Andy Murray won his first ATP title since March 2017 on Sunday with a battling 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Stan Wawrinka in the Antwerp final.

Former world number one Murray, rebuilding his game after career-saving hip surgery earlier this year, fought back from a set and 3-1 down against fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka to claim his 46th career title.


Injured Djokovic Pulls Out Of US Open

Novak Djokovic of Serbia wipes his face with his towel while playing Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland during their Round Four Men’s Singles match at the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 1, 2019. Don Emmert / AFP


Top-ranked defending champion Novak Djokovic retired with a shoulder injury after dropping the first two sets of Sunday’s US Open last-16 match against Stan Wawrinka.

Swiss 23rd seed and 2016 champion Wawrinka led Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 2-1 when the Serb quit, having received treatment on his troublesome left shoulder before the start of the third set.

“It’s never the way you want to finish a match. I’m sorry for Novak. He’s an amazing champion,” Wawrinka said.

Djokovic, who has won four of the past five Grand Slam events and 16 overall, had struggled with a painful left shoulder during his second-round win over Juan Ignacio Londero.

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He said he felt “almost pain-free” following a straight-sets defeat of Denis Kudla in round three, but the problem resurfaced against Wawrinka in the first meeting between the pair since the final here three years ago.

“I want to keep my level of tonight. I think I was playing super good tennis. I’m happy to be back,” said Wawrinka, who will meet fifth seed Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals.

“It helped me big time knowing I have the game to beat him on that court.

“I was feeling great. When I came to practice here I was moving well, playing well. I was quite confident with the level I had but you never know when you are playing the number one player in the world.”


Nadal Beats Wawrinka To Reach Toronto Quarters

Nadal Beats Wawrinka To Reach Toronto Quarters
Rafael Nadal of Spain serves against Benoit Paire of France during a 2nd round match on Day 3 of the Rogers Cup at Aviva Centre on August 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFP


A 45-minute rain interruption did little to stop the progress of Rafael Nadal on Thursday at the Toronto Masters as he defeated Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the quarter-finals.

The halt in proceedings came 63 minutes into the opening set after Wawrinka saved a Nadal set point for 5-all, with the Spaniard then holding serve for 6-5.

When the weather passed, the pair returned, with Nadal wrapping up the set on his second chance.

The second set was a battle as the Swiss, a three-time Grand Slam champion, fought back from an early breakdown, took a 2-1 lead, with the pair again trading breaks in the fifth and tenth games.

Nadal came from a mini-breakdown in the tiebreaker and secured victory on his second match point.

“It was a good match, a very positive victory for me over a tough opponent,” Nadal said.

“I’m happy to see Stan playing well again. We had a good quality of tennis.

“I’m very pleased, I needed a match like this. It does much for the confidence.”

Nadal’s win was his 17th from 20 played against Wawrinka.

Second seed Alexander Zverev, the holder, lined up a re-run of last week’s Washington semi-final as he again takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Greek who turns 20 on Sunday knocked out his second seed in as many matches, stunning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.

Zverev rolled over Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-2 in 52 minutes while never facing a break point.

Tsitsipas called his knockout of Djokovic, “the best match of my career. I knew I was playing pretty good today.”

The number 27 will play the first Masters 1000 quarter-final of his career.

“He played very well and deserved to win without a doubt,” Djokovic said. “I just played not that great.

“I didn’t return well. It wasn’t that great of a match.”

Bulgarian fifth seed Grigor Dimitrov laboured for almost two and a half hours to subdue Frances Tiafoe of the United States 7-6 (7/1), 3-6, 7-6 (7/4).

He next faces Wimbledon runner-up and fourth seed Kevin Anderson who defeated Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 7-5, 6-3 to also make the last eight.

Sixth seed Marin Cilic continued his quiet progress, beating Argentine 11th seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2.

Canadian teen Denis Shapovalov went down to Robin Haase, losing 7-5, 6-2, ending local interest. The Dutch winner will take on Karen Khachanov, who beat eighth seed John Isner 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/1).

Murray Withdraws From Toronto As Wawrinka Gets Wildcard

Murray Withdraws From Toronto As Wawrinka Gets Wildcard
(File) Britain’s Andy Murray reacts during Men’s singles second round match against Britain’s Kyle Edmund at the ATP Nature Valley International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, southern England on June 27, 2018. PHOTO: Glyn KIRK / AFP


Former world number one Andy Murray withdrew from next week’s ATP Masters Toronto event on Friday, with his wildcard passed along to another three-time Grand Slam champion, Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

Both stars are making comebacks from injuries. Britain’s Murray missed 11 months with a right hip injury before returning in June. Wawrinka was out eight months with a left knee injury.

Murray’s move came hours after an emotional three-set victory at the ATP Washington Open that ended at 3:02 a.m. Friday and left him crying into a towel for minutes after the match.

The three-hour marathon was Murray’s third gruelling three-set win of the week. He has been on court for eight hours and 11 minutes entering a scheduled quarter-final Friday against Australian teen Alex De Minaur.

But Murray said he might not play the match after finishing so late — the latest finish in the 50-year history of the event, the grind and rain delays over the first four days taking a toll.


Murray Gets Wimbledon Boost With First Win On Comeback Trail

Britain’s Andy Murray reacts after winning against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka during a Men’s singles first round match at the ATP Nature Valley International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, southern England on June 25, 2018. Murray won the match 6-1, 6-3. Glyn KIRK / AFP


Andy Murray offered encouragement that he could be ready to compete at Wimbledon as the former world number one beat Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3 at Eastbourne on Monday.

Murray was playing only his second match after 11 months on the sidelines with a hip injury that required surgery in January.

The 31-year-old had lost on his comeback against Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s Club last week and claimed after that defeat that he might not be fit enough for Wimbledon.

With Wimbledon getting underway on July 2, Murray, who has won the tournament twice, is in a race to prove his fitness for the All England Club.

Keen to discover just far along he is on the road to recovery, Murray — now 156th in the rankings — took a trip to the seaside, accepting a late wildcard entry into the grass-court event at Eastbourne.

Beating a former Grand Slam champion of Wawrinka’s calibre in the first round is a major boost to Murray as he weighs up the risks of competing at Wimbledon with so little match practice under his belt.

“I am going to decide nearer the time. I need to see how my body pulls up. I’ll see how I am tomorrow and take it from there,” Murray said of his Wimbledon prospects.

“I’m very happy to get the win. I thought the first set I played well, but the second set was patchy and I was a bit nervous.

“When you haven’t played for the best part of a year, when you face someone like Stan it is tough. But obviously, I am delighted to get the win.”

After clinching his first victory since last year’s Wimbledon fourth round success against Benoit Paire, Murray will face fellow Briton Kyle Edmund in the Eastbourne second round on Wednesday.

Murray admitted after Queen’s that he had only been practicing for up to 90 minutes, making it a gamble to push his body any further at Wimbledon.

And Tim Henman, a close friend of Murray’s and a former British number one, is surprised the Scot has got this far on the comeback trail already.

“If you had said to me five weeks ago that he would have been playing the grass court season then I would have said that it is highly unlikely,” Henman said in an interview with The Scotsman.

Yet Murray relishes the chance to star at Wimbledon and remains hopeful of making it back next week.

He started encouragingly, breaking Wawrinka’s serve twice in the first set on a sweltering early evening on the south coast.

The three-time major winner’s movement was also solid, even if his Swiss opponent was far from his best following his own problems returning from knee surgery last year.

With Wawrinka struggling, Murray pressed home his advantage with a break midway through the second set.

He finished off an impressive win thanks to a double-fault from the beleaguered Swiss.


Coach Norman Splits From Stan Wawrinka


Magnus Norman ended his four-year spell as Stan Wawrinka’s coach on Wednesday, after a partnership that saw the Swiss win three Grand Slam titles.

Swede Norman joined up with Wawrinka, who is sitting out the rest of this season with a knee injury, in April 2013 and helped him become one of the top players in the men’s game, but has decided to take a break from full-time coaching.

“After much thought I have decided to dedicate my future to my family,” said former world number two Norman in a statement.

“I could not have had a better player to work with and this has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make.”

Wawrinka, 32, was the world number 17 and had never reached a Grand Slam semi-final before he worked with Norman but has since reached the last four at major tournaments nine times, most recently when he lost the French Open final to Rafael Nadal in June.

“I would like to thank Magnus for the amazing four years we had together,” said Wawrinka.

“For now I’m focusing on my rehabilitation and I will take time to decide with my team the necessary next steps.”


Wawrinka Suffers Shock Defeat To Medvedev At Wimbledon


Three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka crashed out of Wimbledon in the first round on Monday, suffering a shock loss to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.

Fifth-seed Wawrinka, ranked three in the world, looked well short of his best as the 21-year-old world number 49 Medvedev, playing in his first Wimbledon, triumphed 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-1.

Lopez Beats Wawrinka In First Round At Queen’s

Lopez Beats Wawrinka In First Round At Queen's
Stan Wawrinka – Source:

World number three Stan Wawrinka crashed out in the opening round of the Aegon Championships at London’s Queen’s Club on Tuesday with temperatures reaching almost 38 degrees on court.

Second seed Wawrinka, runner-up in the French Open nine days ago, went down 7-6(4) 7-5 to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

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After his defeat by Rafael Nadal in the Paris final, Wawrinka added Paul Annacone to his coaching team as a grass court specialist.

The American had previously coached Roger Federer and Pete Sampras, who between them have taken 14 Wimbledon titles.

Swiss Wawrinka hopes Annacone will improve his prospects at Wimbledon, where he has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals.

He was below his best on Tuesday as Lopez produced some deft touches to support his big serve.

French Open: Murray Beat Kei Nishikori, Faces Wawrinka In Semis

Madrid Open: Andy Murray Qualifies For Third RoundBritain’s Andy Murray has reached his fourth consecutive French Open semi-final with a four-set win over Kei Nishikori in Paris.

The world number one came through 2-6 6-1 7-6 6-1 against the Japanese at Roland Garros.

The 30-year-old goes on to face Swiss Stan Wawrinka, who defeated Marin Cilic 6-3 6-3 6-1.