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Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

Born in 1985 to parents Wolfram and Isabelle, Stan Wawrinka is a Swiss professional tennis player on the men’s circuit, and is ranked no. 3 in the world. Wawrinka is of Polish descent, but only by ancestry. Stan has one older brother, Jonathan, a tennis coach, as well as two younger sisters, Djanaee and Naella, they also took up tennis.

Known most for his one-handed backhand, no doubt inspired by Swiss’s no. 1 player, Roger Federer, some former players like John McEnroe have said he has the best one-handed backhand of all time. His serve is another powerful weapon in his game.

Although he has spent the majority of his career in the shadows of Swiss’s no. 1 player, Roger Federer, he is still regarded as one of the top players in men’s singles, with a legitimate chance of winning any Grand Slam he enters.

Wawrinka is one of only a few to have managed Grand Slam wins against each of the Big Four (namely Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray). The consistency Wawrinka is finding in his power game is allowing him to compete with the best players in the world, and he has proven this in important matches.

Considering clay to be his best surface, he is one of only a few players on the men’s tour to have reached the quarterfinal stage of all four majors. His first Grand Slam title came at the 2014 Australian Open with victory over Rafael Nadal. His good form continued throughout 2014 and into 2015, showing impressive form on all surfaces. Wawrinka denied Djokovic his first French Open title. A win over such a tough opponent will mean the Swiss number two will never again live in the shadow of compatriot and close friend Roger Federer.

Early playing history

At age 14, Wawrinka began playing international junior tennis tournaments around the world. He had an outstanding junior’s career and by the time he was 15, he had left school and began distance learning to be able to play full time on the satellite circuit.

Rise to the top

In 2002, when Wawrinka was 17, he turned pro. His efforts paid off in 2003, claiming the junior French Open title, and was ranked 7th amongst juniors worldwide.

Three years later, he was ranked just outside the Top 50 in the world. Stan cracked the top 10 in 2008 after reaching the final of the 2008 Masters Series event in Rome, although his ranking didn’t stay there for very long.

2013 was a breakthrough year for Stan Wawrinka. He made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open at the beginning of the year, playing an extremely memorable match with many twists and turns against Novak Djokovic. The fourth round clash ended at 12-10 in the fifth and final set. Even Nole admitted that the match ranked among one of the favorites in his career.

In the first round of the Davis Cup, he played the longest ATP doubles match in history that lasted more than 7 hours. Stan Wawrinka won the fourth title of his career at the Portugal Open, beating the top seed David Ferrer in the final. He then reached the quarters at Roland Garros after beating Richard Gasquet in the fourth round. Prior to reaching the quarterfinals at the French Open in 2013, Wawrinka had only reached this stage of a Grand Slam in 2 of his first 32 attempts. At the 2013 US Open, he reached the semifinal, losing to Djokovic. On the road to the semifinals he had beat Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray.

At 30 years of age, it must be said that Stan Wawrinka has been a bit of a later bloomer. Not many people expected him to win his first Grand Slam title at the 2014 Australian Open, when 28 at the time. He continued his solid form after his debut Grand Slam performance, getting to the later stages of various ATP events, winning his first ATP Master’s 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo on clay, and reaching a career high ranking of no. 3.

After claiming his second Grand Slam win at the 2015 French Open, Stan Wawrinka became the first male player over the age of 30 to win a Grand Slam since Federer managed the same in 2012. He also became the first French Open junior champ to then go onto win the men’s title since Mats Wilander achieved the same feat in 1988.

Stan has now won the same number of Grand Slam titles as Andy Murray, and a sport that once favored lots of young and enthusiastic up-n-comers is now being dominated by the more experienced and powerful players on the circuit.

Professional highlights

Teamed up with Roger Federer in the doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics to win the gold medal. Wawrinka again partnered with Swiss no.1 player, Roger Federer, to win Switzerland’s first Davis Cup title in 2014.

Wawrinka won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 2014, setting a new record for being the first player to beat Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the same Grand Slam tournament. A few months later, Wawrinka beats Federer in the 2014 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final.

He followed this up with his second and only other Grand Slam title at the 2015 French Open. His win in the final over Djokovic at Roland Garros will be remembered as one of the best matches of the year. He didn’t just overcome the odds and beat Djokovic, who seemed unbeatable on clay, he demonstrated stunning shot making ability, wowing the Roland Garros crowd throughout the match.

Fun facts about Stan Wawrinka you might not know:

● He also was born with a different first name; Stanislas. Wawrinka requested a name change from the ATP in 2014, changing it to “Stan Wawrinka.”
● The tattoo on his left arm reads, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
● He bared all in ESPN Magazine’s The Body Issue.

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