An Ode to Stan Wawrinka

Kralingen

Legend
After watching Zverev (sort of) overpower Djokovic for a set and a half last night, I was immediately reminded of the king, the OG of blasting Djokovic off the court, Stan Wawrinka.

have a look at this, if you’re unfamiliar:

I believe he has the most heavily underrated peak level on TTW. Only ranked as a clay specialist, or someone who could win over a subpar Djokovic, is way, way underrating him.

Let's start with the usual negatives. Stan is an inconsistent player, he peaked at around age 29, his peak lasted 4-ish years and had lows. He has a 6-19 record vs. Djokovic, 3-19 vs. Nadal, 3-23 vs. Federer. The H2Hs speak for themselves. He had issues with fitness, motivation, mental strength, and sheer talent throughout his career. He was the opposite of a fast court player, being unable to compete at faster courts like Cincinnati, WTF finals, and of course Grass in Wimbledon. However, Stan is a unicorn. a Modern Era anomaly, a slow court specialist. It was only customary that a specialist would emerge perfect for the mid-10s slower conditions.

However, does anyone deride Becker or Edberg because of their largely crap records on clay? Wawrinka is something of a modern era creation - a true Slow Court specialist.

Stan stepped up. His prime (2013-16) can stand up to anyone's in the mid-10s baselining era. It's time to start viewing it historically, these happened over 5 years ago. Stan is a historic phenomenon. Tired of people treating him as inferior to Safin, Hewitt, Bruguera etc. He has an incredible resume at his peak, and a unique journey to get there.

Magnus Norman ignited the light in Stan. a prolific underachiever, after 2008-12 he was lost. Overpowered and outmaneuvered by GOATs, he was a forgotten man. Then he hires Magnus Norman in late 2012. The rest, as they say, is history.

AO 2013: Stan-Djokovic match. If you haven't watched it recently, rewatch it. One of the great AO matches, and modern HC matches, of all time. 11-10 Novak in the 5th after a much disputed line call that could have given Stan a break in a crucial match. Djokovic's form in this tournament is underrated. His SF blows everything but the absolute best of the slower HC era off the charts. What a match. Stan proving he belonged.

Clay 2013: only lost to Nadal (Madrid final) and RG (Nadal again) - he took his lumps here, but learned his playstyle against Nadal
USO 2013: beats defending Champ, and reigning Wimbledon champ, Murray, in straight sets. Before he had beaten #5 Berdych. Underrated tournament. Takes '13 Djokovic to 5, proving the AO performance was far from a fluke. Great match, underrated all time.

AO 2014: we all know what comes next. Finally triumphs over resilient Djokovic in 5 at AO and proceeds to give Nadal a beating, 6-2, 6-3 before Rafa's MTO and subsequent low level. Rafa was injured, yes, but go rewatch. Stan was blowing almost anyone off the court that tournament. Incredible ball striking.

Clay 2014: finally notches his first win against Federer in the MC final, and lo and behold it's a slow surface. He beat '14 Federer and is the sole reason Roger has never won MC. Great level from Stan, underrated match.
Grass 2014: Stan lost momentum, losing early at RG. However, he made QFs at Wimbledon, taking Federer to four close (he could have won set 3) sets. A turning point for Stan
Indoor 2014: Stan wins enough to get to SFs against Federer in YEC on faster indoor and holds MPs before losing to Fed in a close 3 setter. He had chances. After this, Wawrinka wins Davis Cup with Switzerland with a clutch win in the finals vs. France.

Overall record v. Fedalovic 2013-14 : 3-11. 3 matches won: Federer in MC final 2014, Djokovic in AO QF 2014, Nadal in AO F 2014. What do you notice? slow court wins in finals or Slams vs. the Big 3? hmm.


AO 2015: SF loss to 2015 (regarded peak Djokovic) Novak in 5. he pushed hard in this match.
Clay 2015: Raises his level to win iconic RG over Djokovic in 4. No introduction needed. second signature win over incredible clay/slow court Djokovic. Oh, and he beat 2015 Fed too. In straights. After Federer beat him in rome. 2-0 vs. Federer in big Clay matches '14-15.
Indoor 2015: after bad loss to Fed at the USO, Wawrinka beats Nadal at Paris Masters and has a close match with Djokovic in 3 sets.

2016 was marred by injury but he made '16 RG SF and won the '16 USO beating Djokovic once again.

Stan '13-16 vs. Nadal on slower court: 2-1
Stan '13-16 vs. Djokovic on slower court: 2-2 (3-3 if you include USO/Paris
Stan '13-16 vs. Federer on slower court: 2-2
Stan '13-16 vs. Murray on slower court: 2-1 (would be 3-1 if we count RG '17

Stan proved he was everyone's equal on clay/slower courts in his prime/peak. He did it the truly hard way for all of his 3 slams, defeating 5 Big 3 players along the way, and one each, at every Slam he won.

Give him his flowers. Most underrated peak on TTW. Watch this video then tell me you disagree:
 
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NedStark

Semi-Pro
If there was atleast one young player under 27 as capable as stan in terms of stamina, fitness & ball hitting power, novak would not have won his last 3 hard court slams & nadal any Hard court slams after 2013.
I remember that I did hope Dimitrov could be such a player after the Wimbledon 2014 SF match. But he just never went anywhere.
 

Amen786

Semi-Pro
I remember that I did hope Dimitrov could be such a player after the Wimbledon 2014 SF match. But he just never went anywhere.
Dimitrov lacks pure physical strength of Wawrinka, so he can't inject as much pace in his groudstrokes as the swiss.
Also, he's one of the weakest guys under pressure, whereas stan was one of the strongest.
 

Kralingen

Legend
Wawrinka’s most underrated attribute: mental and physical stamina. At his peak he matched anyone.

He lost the first set in ALL THREE wins over Djokovic. He won 3 sets in a row at FO ‘15 and USO ‘16. Stan committed to hitting heavy, angled, and truly impressive groundstrokes for 3.5-5 hours in these matches. Fat? Lol. Mug? Even funnier. Stan displayed GOAT level mental stamina to lock in for 4 hours of battle vs. true GOATs in their prime on slow courts.

No NextGen can even touch that level of commitment, stamina, and talent.

Wawrinka deserves so much more credit. He was not a flash in a pan. He was a certified beast.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
If there was atleast one young player under 27 as capable as stan in terms of stamina, fitness & ball hitting power, novak would not have won his last 3 hard court slams & nadal any Hard court slams after 2013.
There's tons. There's just none with his mental strength. Which is insane that I'm saying that about Stan who was know to go on walkabout for a year at at a time.

But when he was in that zone he was the complete opposite of the current crop. Instead of racing out to grab the opening set and then having a letdown, he'd come out sloppy and raise his level more and more as the match got tighter. He wouldn't get discouraged, he'd just start playing even braver.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
Wawrinka’s most underrated attribute: mental and physical stamina. At his peak he matched anyone.

He lost the first set in ALL THREE wins over Djokovic. He won 3 sets in a row at FO ‘15 and USO ‘16. Stan committed to hitting heavy, angled, and truly impressive groundstrokes for 3.5-5 hours in these matches. Fat? Lol. Mug? Even funnier. Stan displayed GOAT level mental stamina to lock in for 4 hours of battle vs. true GOATs in their prime on slow courts.

No NextGen can even touch that level of commitment, stamina, and talent.

Wawrinka deserves so much more credit. He was not a flash in a pan. He was a certified beast.
This is truly GOATY AF, as we all know Djokovic's deal in long matches. A stud!!

Wawrinka is always listing pictures of himself drinking red wine, eating burgers, pizza etc. Do you think his peak might have lasted longer if he were as disciplined as Djokovic in staying away from food/alcohol that increases inflammation in an aging body?
I'd much rather be Stan than Novak lol. A multimillionaire enjoying his life, eating good food, traveling the world, drinking cold beverages, winning a few slams etc, than an undead zombie, eating nuts and berries, vying for the love of millions that he will never receive ;)
 

NedStark

Semi-Pro
There's tons.
There is only Thiem, who of course lacks Stan's mental strength.

Dimitrov lacks pure physical strength of Wawrinka, so he can't inject as much pace in his groudstrokes as the swiss.
Also, he's one of the weakest guys under pressure, whereas stan was one of the strongest.
He could have bulked up to increase physical strength. But his greatest failure is trying to copy Federer serve and failing instead of developing his own service motion - you simply can't be "mentally strong" with Grigor's unstable, unrealiable serves. I would even take Murray second serve over Dimitrov - at least Murray is not a certified double fault machine in the same manner as Dimitrov or Shapovalov.
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
I would pay good money to see Wawrinka blast Djokovic off the court again and then flip off Srdjan. Wawrinka has the killer instinct that a spineless weasel like Zverev lacks. Djokovic was always terrified of Stan and always reverted to pushing like a coward.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
He has a 6-19 record vs. Djokovic, 3-19 vs. Nadal, 3-23 vs. Federer. The H2Hs speak for themselves. He had issues with fitness, motivation, mental strength, and sheer talent throughout his career.
Putting these considerations aside, he has been extraordinary
 

stingstang

Professional
Wawrinka is always listing pictures of himself drinking red wine, eating burgers, pizza etc. Do you think his peak might have lasted longer if he were as disciplined as Djokovic in staying away from food/alcohol that increases inflammation in an aging body?
I’m being a smartass here but does some junk food cause inflammation in a super fit athlete with high muscle mass/low bodyfat? With calories in range and taking in required nutrients, the rest would be processed efficiently as energy?

Legend has it Phelps munched through loads of pizzas every day to get enough calories in!

When we usually talk about junk food it’s in the context of a couch potato.

But yeah, Stan was a beast!
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
Wawrinka’s most underrated attribute: mental and physical stamina. At his peak he matched anyone.

He lost the first set in ALL THREE wins over Djokovic. He won 3 sets in a row at FO ‘15 and USO ‘16. Stan committed to hitting heavy, angled, and truly impressive groundstrokes for 3.5-5 hours in these matches. Fat? Lol. Mug? Even funnier. Stan displayed GOAT level mental stamina to lock in for 4 hours of battle vs. true GOATs in their prime on slow courts.

No NextGen can even touch that level of commitment, stamina, and talent.

Wawrinka deserves so much more credit. He was not a flash in a pan. He was a certified beast.
For anyone who witnessed Stanimal this is not news nor controversial. But thanks for bringing him up nevertheless. When Djoko was at the absolute peak of his powers, the one man you could trust would give him a match and could live with him and beat him in best of five was not Rafa, not Federer - it was Stanimal
 

socallefty

Legend
I’m being a smartass here but does some junk food cause inflammation in a super fit athlete with high muscle mass/low bodyfat? With calories in range and taking in required nutrients, the rest would be processed efficiently as energy?

Legend has it Phelps munched through loads of pizzas every day to get enough calories in!

When we usually talk about junk food it’s in the context of a couch potato.

But yeah, Stan was a beast!



There is a ton of online information on how it is good to reduce inflammation for athletes also. Typically older athletes still performing at a high level (Tom Brady, Djokovic, LeBron, Serena, Ronaldo, Bolt etc.) change their diet to be more healthy. Federer is a notable exception.

 

Tsongerer

Rookie
Higher peak level than Murray in 3 out of 4 slams.
AO14 Stan > AO12 Murray
RG15 Stan > RG15 Murray
USO16 Stan > USO12 Murray
 
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skip1969

G.O.A.T.
When I was lost in the endless wilderness that was the Big 3 . . . one man dared to give me hope. That man was Stanislas Wawrinka.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

Get well soon, my brotha.
 

Swingmaster

Hall of Fame
Wawrinka is always listing pictures of himself drinking red wine, eating burgers, pizza etc. Do you think his peak might have lasted longer if he were as disciplined as Djokovic in staying away from food/alcohol that increases inflammation in an aging body?
No way he ate that whole burger platter. Probably just one. Youve seen his six pack.
 

Zoid

Hall of Fame
Wawrinka did well against Djokovic because of match-ups.

Chip return gets decimated against Fed and Rafa. Plus Fed could rush him a lot better than Nole. IF you give Stan time then he will give you trouble, but if you keep him pinned and off balance, then you can dominate.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
After watching Zverev (sort of) overpower Djokovic for a set and a half last night, I was immediately reminded of the king, the OG of blasting Djokovic off the court, Stan Wawrinka.

have a look at this, if you’re unfamiliar:

I believe he has the most heavily underrated peak level on TTW. Only ranked as a clay specialist, or someone who could win over a subpar Djokovic, is way, way underrating him.

Let's start with the usual negatives. Stan is an inconsistent player, he peaked at around age 29, his peak lasted 4-ish years and had lows. He has a 6-19 record vs. Djokovic, 3-19 vs. Nadal, 3-23 vs. Federer. The H2Hs speak for themselves. He had issues with fitness, motivation, mental strength, and sheer talent throughout his career. He was the opposite of a fast court player, being unable to compete at faster courts like Cincinnati, WTF finals, and of course Grass in Wimbledon. However, Stan is a unicorn. a Modern Era anomaly, a slow court specialist. It was only customary that a specialist would emerge perfect for the mid-10s slower conditions.

However, does anyone deride Becker or Edberg because of their largely crap records on clay? Wawrinka is something of a modern era creation - a true Slow Court specialist.

Stan stepped up. His prime (2013-16) can stand up to anyone's in the mid-10s baselining era. It's time to start viewing it historically, these happened over 5 years ago. Stan is a historic phenomenon. Tired of people treating him as inferior to Safin, Hewitt, Bruguera etc. He has an incredible resume at his peak, and a unique journey to get there.

Magnus Norman ignited the light in Stan. a prolific underachiever, after 2008-12 he was lost. Overpowered and outmaneuvered by GOATs, he was a forgotten man. Then he hires Magnus Norman in late 2012. The rest, as they say, is history.

AO 2013: Stan-Djokovic match. If you haven't watched it recently, rewatch it. One of the great AO matches, and modern HC matches, of all time. 11-10 Novak in the 5th after a much disputed line call that could have given Stan a break in a crucial match. Djokovic's form in this tournament is underrated. His SF blows everything but the absolute best of the slower HC era off the charts. What a match. Stan proving he belonged.

Clay 2013: only lost to Nadal (Madrid final) and RG (Nadal again) - he took his lumps here, but learned his playstyle against Nadal
USO 2013: beats defending Champ, and reigning Wimbledon champ, Murray, in straight sets. Before he had beaten #5 Berdych. Underrated tournament. Takes '13 Djokovic to 5, proving the AO performance was far from a fluke. Great match, underrated all time.

AO 2014: we all know what comes next. Finally triumphs over resilient Djokovic in 5 at AO and proceeds to give Nadal a beating, 6-2, 6-3 before Rafa's MTO and subsequent low level. Rafa was injured, yes, but go rewatch. Stan was blowing almost anyone off the court that tournament. Incredible ball striking.

Clay 2014: finally notches his first win against Federer in the MC final, and lo and behold it's a slow surface. He beat '14 Federer and is the sole reason Roger has never won MC. Great level from Stan, underrated match.
Grass 2014: Stan lost momentum, losing early at RG. However, he made QFs at Wimbledon, taking Federer to four close (he could have won set 3) sets. A turning point for Stan
Indoor 2014: Stan wins enough to get to SFs against Federer in YEC on faster indoor and holds MPs before losing to Fed in a close 3 setter. He had chances. After this, Wawrinka wins Davis Cup with Switzerland with a clutch win in the finals vs. France.

Overall record v. Fedalovic 2013-14 : 3-11. 3 matches won: Federer in MC final 2014, Djokovic in AO QF 2014, Nadal in AO F 2014. What do you notice? slow court wins in finals or Slams vs. the Big 3? hmm.


AO 2015: SF loss to 2015 (regarded peak Djokovic) Novak in 5. he pushed hard in this match.
Clay 2015: Raises his level to win iconic RG over Djokovic in 4. No introduction needed. second signature win over incredible clay/slow court Djokovic. Oh, and he beat 2015 Fed too. In straights. After Federer beat him in rome. 2-0 vs. Federer in big Clay matches '14-15.
Indoor 2015: after bad loss to Fed at the USO, Wawrinka beats Nadal at Paris Masters and has a close match with Djokovic in 3 sets.

2016 was marred by injury but he made '16 RG SF and won the '16 USO beating Djokovic once again.

Stan '13-16 vs. Nadal on slower court: 2-1
Stan '13-16 vs. Djokovic on slower court: 2-2 (3-3 if you include USO/Paris
Stan '13-16 vs. Federer on slower court: 2-2
Stan '13-16 vs. Murray on slower court: 2-1 (would be 3-1 if we count RG '17

Stan proved he was everyone's equal on clay/slower courts in his prime/peak. He did it the truly hard way for all of his 3 slams, defeating 5 Big 3 players along the way, and one each, at every Slam he won.

Give him his flowers. Most underrated peak on TTW. Watch this video then tell me you disagree:
WTF wasn't fast in 2013-2015. It was ridiculously slow.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
For anyone who witnessed Stanimal this is not news nor controversial. But thanks for bringing him up nevertheless. When Djoko was at the absolute peak of his powers, the one man you could trust would give him a match and could live with him and beat him in best of five was not Rafa, not Federer - it was Stanimal
Federer did it first though.
 
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