ATP Marseille – Wawrinka, the thrill: “I can go much higher”

ATP Marseille – Wawrinka, the thrill: “I can go much higher”

Trust the process. It is literally (“Trust the process” in English) its credo, and it is clear that it is gradually bearing fruit. At almost 38 years old (he will be on March 28), Stan Wawrinka knows that he does not have much time in front of him on the circuit. And yet, it is his ability not to rush, to take the stages one after the other that could well allow him to experience the last great thrills he is after. As in Rotterdam last week, he is in the quarter-finals in Marseille, a sign that he is gaining momentum.

This is not to say that “Stanimal” is back. Tennistically, the Vaudois is still far from having regained his fullness. But its average level is increasing. Member of the Top 50, Richard Gasquet was able to notice this when he faced him in the Netherlands and in the Marseille city with two defeats in “vintage” one-handed backhand battles which delighted the purists. It is not a question here of affirming that Wawrinka walked, far from it. He even found himself back against the wall Wednesday evening 6-4, 4-2 and was not leading wide.

ATP Marseille

Son straight into quarters after Sinner forfeit


I got off to a bad starthe admitted after the game. I’m struggling to find my rhythm, my game on the surface which is quite complicated. I tried to fight anyway. I saw that he was really damaged physically with his long match yesterday (Tuesday against Laurent Lokoli, Ed), he still played more than three hours. I know what it is: it’s difficult the next day and he pulled it off well. Richard remains a great champion and an example for a lot of people. It’s never easy to play him: he’s so strong, so talented. I was a little on the ‘back legs’ as they say, and a little hesitant because with him, you never know what will happen. I had some success rebreaking him and felt he took a hit.”

A reliable body again

The real satisfaction, and perhaps the most important for the future for Wawrinka, comes from the reaction of his body to the repetition of the efforts and the sequence of matches. Given his absence of more than a year from the circuit between the spring of 2021 and 2022 due to two operations on his left foot and his age, rebuilding a solid foundation was paramount. Defeated at the start of the Australian Open after five sets by the Slovak Alex Molcan (then 53rd in the world), the Swiss was still a bit tight on this level. But the more the weeks pass, the more he reassures himself.

I feel better and better, especially physically. I feel like I’m actually really good, not being drained. Mentally, it’s a little more complicated because I’ve been pushing myself for a year to find this level, to be able to continue and I haven’t taken a break. I tried to progress all the time and I see it in terms of concentration, sometimes I have a little trouble: I have ups and downs like today (Wednesday). But overall they are great wins, I’m very happy, satisfied with what’s going on and I hope to continue.”

In high performance sport, the head and legs are often linked. The less a sportsman worries about his ability to withstand a tough fight, the more he is equipped to face the difficulties that await him. Last season was not easy for Wawrinka (8 wins for 14 losses) but he did the groundwork to hope to return to what he was. He’s not there yet but he’s undeniably on the right track: while he was 361st in the world at the start of May 2022, he will return to the top 100 players in the world next Monday.

The Top 100? Despite what I’ve accomplished, it’s still mythical

The Top 100, I was thinking about it because I was told that I was going to come back to it if I won (against Gasquet, Ed). And when I started tennis, it was my dream to get into it. Despite all that I have accomplished in my career, it remains a mythical and incredible number. And despite my age, you have to appreciate this kind of thing because it was not easy to come back. Today, I play well, I know that I will not stop there and that I can really go much higher. But you gotta enjoy every step“, he estimated.

Invited by the ATP in a video to make predictions for the coming year, Frances Tiafoe, Cameron Norrie and Casper Ruud immediately cited Stan Wawrinka as the player likely to make a significant comeback. In Rotterdam, Stefanos Tsitsipas spoke with him for a long time in the wake of a training session, aware that he had things to learn from the multiple Grand Slam winner in an era ultra-dominated by ” Big 3″.

With a ranking that will allow him to directly integrate the tables again, especially in the Majors, Wawrinka has entered a virtuous circle that is gradually making him more and more dangerous for the rest of the circuit. Like Andy Murray, who is so stunning in Doha at the moment, he said to himself “born to fight” on social networks this week. In recent months, this quality has given him a solid floor level. What to start dreaming of great thrills again? One thing is certain: you should never bury old lions…

ATP Marseille

Gasquet falls again against Wawrinka, Fils leaves at the same pace


ATP Marseille

They rebounded



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