tennisStan Wawrinka wins his challenge against time
Qualified for the semi-finals of the ATP 250 tournament in Metz, where he meets Kazakhstan Alexander Bublik this Saturday (from 3.30 p.m.), the Vaud veteran will be competitive again.
It’s crazy how the story can reach heights of irony. It’s been six months since Stan Wawrinka, 37, struggled to get back on the tennis scene and when he did his prowess was overshadowed by Roger Federer’s departure. Until the very end, the needy people of Vaud remained in the shadow of elegant Basel.
Winner of Sweden’s Mikael Ymer (ATP 100) in straight sets (6-4 4-6 7-6) early Friday night, “Stan the Man” had just qualified for the semifinals of the ATP 250 stamped Metz tournament. A first for him in more than two years. But all attention turned to London, where the “master” was about to seal his professional retirement.
Out of humility, Wawrinka readily agreed to stay behind. “It’s the goal to be in front of my TV, plus the press conference is a little too long, he sneaked mischievously in front of the journalists at the end of his success. Everyone wants to see thatEditor’s note: Federer’s last appearance). I had looked closely and noted the time before my game.
This Saturday against Kazakhstan Alexander Bublik (ATP 44) he may finally shed some light on the matter. The man with three Grand Slam titles deserves it because he’s decently coming back to a very good level. Beyond the packaging (he currently has five straight wins) there is the content. In Mosel we have found a steadfast Stan Wawrinka. Sporty yes.
Since the start of the tournament, which began in the first qualifying round, the people of Vaud have accumulated 9:57 hours of play in six days. Without flinching, so far. Even in situations that lend themselves to it. As in the 8th against world No. 4 Daniil Medvedev (6-4 6-7 6-3) where he could have collapsed in the final set after losing the second in the tie break after missing a match point. Rebelote Freitag: Embarked for the decisive game of the third round, the Swiss found the means to make ends meet after 2:47 minutes.
To see if that energy boost can be felt against Bublik. Meanwhile, “Stanimal” has shown reassuring signals about his physical condition, he who has been suffering from “holes” regularly in recent months. “Stan, it’s like a diesel. He has to warm up and when he’s out and about he becomes very dangerous, »compares Alessandro Greco, Head of Top Sports at Swiss Tennis.
Wawrinka returned to competition in late March after a year’s absence and two foot surgeries, knowing he was embroiled in a long process at 37. His first appearances, in which he appeared awkward, clumsy and often out of time (usual symptoms of a player with a complete lack of rhythm and direction), confirmed the doubts of the skeptics and reminded the optimists of the concept of patience.
In Metz, the progress is remarkable: he knows how to smother again and wedge his opponents behind their baseline thanks to a power of punch that can be found on both the forehand and backhand sides. He’s also more skilful and holds his lead better, an area where he’s been struggling lately.
This opens up exciting perspectives for him. “I always thought Stan would be able to come back to a good level and win tournaments back. One should never underestimate the great champions and he is one of them,” says Alessandro Greco.
Stan Wawrinka may not return to the level he was in his prime, but he can still bring joy to his followers. Considering where he’s from, that’s a lot.
Back in the top 200 on Monday
Stan Wawrinka would not have formalized a qualification in the semifinals of an ATP 250 tournament a few years ago, but it means a lot to today’s “Stanimal”. After a year away from the tennis courts, the Vaudois have had a difficult return to competition. With a crash to number 361 in the ATP ranking (early May) and again number 322 in August, he is facing a meteoric rise. Thanks to his career in Metz, the 284th player in the world has already guaranteed 92 ranks. Therefore, he will return to the top 200 on Monday. This would prove even more brilliant in the event of a win against Alexander Bublik this Saturday. Not to mention a possible coronation.
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