Did Wawrinka Underachieve Throughout His Career?

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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Maybe, maybe not, but he has plenty of time to make good over the next 2 or 3 years. I know he ain't that young but he's got plenty left IMO. It will be fascinating to see how much he can make of what is now his prime.
 

Marius_Hancu

Talk Tennis Guru
His physical prime is right now. He's never been as fit as he has been these last couple of years.
Indeed. And congratulations to Pierre Paradis (the gaunt person beside Norman today) for physically training Federer and Wawrinka to amazing levels of performance in a very healthy way. I mean, just look at Fed's record in terms of attending the slams :)
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
He underachieved for about the last 15 months. I thought he was ready for this type of run last year but he only grabbed the M-C title, lost early in Madrid, Rome and RG. Let's hope he doesn't repeat that kind of relapse again.

First RG boys champ to win the whole thing as an adult since Wilander. Took 12 years but well worth the wait.
 

Smasher08

Legend
We see what he is capable of. Why couldn't he do this throughout his career?
He developed in Federer's shadow as the understudy, and consequently never really believed in himself.

Magnus Norman's work with him has been psychological and strategic more than anything else imo.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Prior to his AO victory in 2014, he had won just 5 titles all of them at 250 level in nearly 12 years of playing the tour! Since 2014 AO, he has won a Masters tournament and now another Slam!

Given the obvious abilities he has now been displaying in the last 18 months, I would say that underachievement in the 2002-2013 period is an understatement!
 

Raging Buddha

Semi-Pro
His physical prime is right now. He's never been as fit as he has been these last couple of years.
Maybe he's better conditioned now but with that and all other things being equal (mental strength from Norman) he should have been superior back in his mid 20s, which clearly wasn't the case.
 
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Deleted member 77403

Guest
Stan at 30 is looking super dominant. And when he is on, he is such a joy to watch.
 

Russeljones

G.O.A.T.
There are two ways of looking at it.

One is to say, he obviously had the ability, didn't work hard enough (substantiated by his admission that his team have had to push him) and has underachieved with respect to his potential.

Another is to say the career progression was such and such and the player is solely responsible for his/her level of commitment, hence potential cannot be factored into it.

So if we look at it purely on tennis terms, he wasn't good enough to do better for the better part of his career. This same period coincides with the most dominant periods of the best three players in his time. I would say it would be unrealistic to say he has underachieved.
 

randomtoss

Semi-Pro
Indeed. And congratulations to Pierre Paradis (the gaunt person beside Norman today) for physically training Federer and Wawrinka to amazing levels of performance in a very healthy way. I mean, just look at Fed's record in terms of attending the slams :)
Indeed, Pierre Paganini is an incredible physical trainer, one of the best in the world. Magnus Norman's coaching also explains Wawa's results this past two years. And finally, some people just take longer to mature...
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
It is amazing to see him hang in all those long rallies without breathing heavy. His improved cardio was definitely one of the key factors.
 

veroniquem

Bionic Poster
He is incapable of consistency. He reminds me a bit of Nalbandian. Shows up for 1 event and then disappears for months on end.
Everything favored him at this RG: draw and schedule, so of course he was the fresher of the 2. But it's not a level he could keep up on a regular basis. It's going to be back to the obscurity where he belongs.
He's an average player most of the time.
 

NamRanger

G.O.A.T.
He is incapable of consistency. He reminds me a bit of Nalbandian. Shows up for 1 event and then disappears for months on end.
Everything favored him at this RG: draw and schedule, so of course he was the fresher of the 2. But it's not a level he could keep up on a regular basis. It's going to be back to the obscurity where he belongs.
He's an average player most of the time.


His average level still sees him regularly beating top 20 players quite easily now adays. Granted he could also lose to some random qualifier at the same time.
 

ScentOfDefeat

G.O.A.T.
He is incapable of consistency. He reminds me a bit of Nalbandian. Shows up for 1 event and then disappears for months on end.
Everything favored him at this RG: draw and schedule, so of course he was the fresher of the 2. But it's not a level he could keep up on a regular basis. It's going to be back to the obscurity where he belongs.
He's an average player most of the time.
The difference is, I think, that he doesn't choke in finals like many "average" players did in the past and still do now. He's not cannon fodder for the top players, like Baghdatis, Roddick, Nalbandian (in Slams) and countless others. He's a different kind of player, and we haven't seen the likes of him before (the closest would probably be Rafter).

An underdog playing with that type of confidence and self-belief on the big stage is very rare. Even Kuerten, when he beat Bruguera, was winning it with an aura of disbelief, as if he was doing it malgré lui, like he was possessed or something. Stan just seems to be in the game and acts like a top three player who deserves to win the title as much as the guy across the net. That's what makes him so dangerous in Slam finals.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
He is incapable of consistency. He reminds me a bit of Nalbandian. Shows up for 1 event and then disappears for months on end.
Everything favored him at this RG: draw and schedule, so of course he was the fresher of the 2. But it's not a level he could keep up on a regular basis. It's going to be back to the obscurity where he belongs.
He's an average player most of the time.
Such a hating, excuse-making troll! Stan made his draw easier by redlining through all his competitors. After dropping a set in 2R to Lajovic, he lost 4 games or less in each set until the #2 player in the world forced a third set TB in the QFs. Then he fought off a redlining Tsonga in the SFs during the peak heat of that SF day. It's Djoker's own fault he had to play into Saturday.

Fortune favors the bold and the brave!
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
He is incapable of consistency. He reminds me a bit of Nalbandian. Shows up for 1 event and then disappears for months on end.
Everything favored him at this RG: draw and schedule, so of course he was the fresher of the 2. But it's not a level he could keep up on a regular basis. It's going to be back to the obscurity where he belongs.
He's an average player most of the time.
Back in the gutter of the gutter, I see.

Stanimal has ravaged your brain. Bless your soul, Vero.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
stan always had the game just not the confidence and mental strength. With age he got that and a few wins over top players in important matches helped. His tennis has always been top notch, but now he has the mental maturity to be a champion. Its too bad it took this long.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
He is incapable of consistency. He reminds me a bit of Nalbandian. Shows up for 1 event and then disappears for months on end.
Everything favored him at this RG: draw and schedule, so of course he was the fresher of the 2. But it's not a level he could keep up on a regular basis. It's going to be back to the obscurity where he belongs.
He's an average player most of the time
.
I expected nothing less from you and I'm glad to see you dealing so well with the FO-result :)



OT, yes in the sense that his fitness and confidence wasn't where they are now.
No in the sense that I doubt he couldn't have gotten where he is now without his current coach and fitness trainer.
As heninfan said:
It is amazing to see him hang in all those long rallies without breathing heavy. His improved cardio was definitely one of the key factors.
To me, the 4 things that stand out between Stan pre 2013 (2013 we were already beginning to see the changes and post 2013) are
a) his fitness
b) his level of belief and confidence
c) a much improved forehand (seriously, it got quite a bit better and when on, is probably the biggest ground stroke on tour these days) and
d) a somewhat improved serve
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Must be allergic to Swiss players. Sore loser, for sure.
 

West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
Not everyone is able to commit to the solitary task of being an elite pro athlete. Everyone, except the true titans of the game, have their limits. It's not like Stan didn't work hard before he hired Magnus Norman; he just didn't work as hard or focus on the right things. And believe in his own abilities.

They're humans, not robots.
 

Gazelle

G.O.A.T.
He is incapable of consistency.
He's been quite consistent at slam though since turning into STANIMAL.

Since that first AO match against Djokovic his results have been:

AO13 - 4th round
RG13 - QF
W13 - 1st round
US13 - SF
AO14 - W
RG14 - 1st round
W14 - QF
US14 - QF
AO15 - SF
RG15 - W

Apart from those 2 early exits those are amazing results for a non- big 4 player
 

moonballs

Hall of Fame
He is incapable of consistency. He reminds me a bit of Nalbandian. Shows up for 1 event and then disappears for months on end.
Everything favored him at this RG: draw and schedule, so of course he was the fresher of the 2. But it's not a level he could keep up on a regular basis. It's going to be back to the obscurity where he belongs.
He's an average player most of the time.
Sure he will probably back to first or second round losses for a while, until all of a sudden, bang, another slam. Nobody knows when Stanimal is going to show up.
 

chjtennis

G.O.A.T.
A lot of top 10 level players enjoy 4-5 years of their prime. I think Stan is in his 3rd year of prime and he should make the most out of the next 2-3 years. He is a typical case of a late boomer, I guess.

Cilic is also an underachiever, maybe, although he is a curious case. Already caught for doping, he is still in his mid-20s, which should be a time for the peak of the career. He's already won a slam and I wonder how good and consistent he can be. Let's hope he doesn't waste his potential, if he really is that good.
 

Big_Dangerous

Talk Tennis Guru
Prior to his AO victory in 2014, he had won just 5 titles all of them at 250 level in nearly 12 years of playing the tour! Since 2014 AO, he has won a Masters tournament and now another Slam!

Given the obvious abilities he has now been displaying in the last 18 months, I would say that underachievement in the 2002-2013 period is an understatement!
He's one of only a few active players to have won a 250, 500, Masters 1000, Grand Slam, Olympic Gold and Davis Cup.

I think Federer and Nadal are the only other two players to have achieved that.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
He's been quite consistent at slam though since turning into STANIMAL.

Since that first AO match against Djokovic his results have been:

AO13 - 4th round
RG13 - QF
W13 - 1st round
US13 - SF
AO14 - W
RG14 - 1st round
W14 - QF
US14 - QF
AO15 - SF
RG15 - W

Apart from those 2 early exits those are amazing results for a non- big 4 player
And the two 1R losses were to two tough customers...Hewitt @Wimby'13 was a nightmare draw and GGL @RG'14 was coming off a title run on clay and is always dangerous on the dirt.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I would like to hear what people think of my a-d list. Anyone? Cheers.
OT, yes in the sense that his fitness and confidence wasn't where they are now.
No in the sense that I doubt he couldn't have gotten where he is now without his current coach and fitness trainer.
As heninfan said:
"It is amazing to see him hang in all those long rallies without breathing heavy. His improved cardio was definitely one of the key factors."
To me, the 4 things that stand out between Stan pre 2013 (2013 we were already beginning to see the changes and post 2013) are
a) his fitness
b) his level of belief and confidence
c) a much improved forehand (seriously, it got quite a bit better and when on, is probably the biggest ground stroke on tour these days) and
d) a somewhat improved serve
 

Vrad

Professional
He developed in Federer's shadow as the understudy, and consequently never really believed in himself.
I'm not buying this. Even after his RG win he said he isn't at the Big 4 level. Hasn't stopped him from blasting Nadal, Djokovic and Federer off the court in the last couple of years.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I'm not buying this. Even after his RG win he said he isn't at the Big 4 level. Hasn't stopped him from blasting Nadal, Djokovic and Federer off the court in the last couple of years.
He isn't, but he believes he compete with them and beat them any day of the week now. He didn't prior to 2013/2014.
That's the mental difference imo
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
To me, the 4 things that stand out between Stan pre 2013 (2013 we were already beginning to see the changes and post 2013) are
a) his fitness
b) his level of belief and confidence
c) a much improved forehand (seriously, it got quite a bit better and when on, is probably the biggest ground stroke on tour these days) and
d) a somewhat improved serve
I'm not sure on all these counts because I can't remember instances of his endurance being exposed before 2013 and generally I have a bad memory.

You needed to add an e) tactical and strategic astuteness (Norman).
 
His confidence and "IQ" for tennis improved. Picks and chooses spots better. Add his amazing power and you have a guy who maybe is too high risk to win consistently in GS, but when he's HOT, he's unstoppable.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
When his Stanimal is in check and he remembers to be that devastating mix of power and patience, he becomes a serious conundrum.
 

Sander001

Hall of Fame
I think him underachieving most of his career is what made it possible to reach these new heights. Playing with a mediocre forehand for all those years forced the rest of his game to be better. Now that he's shed the handicap, and made the weakness into a strength, he's gone up a level automatically almost.

The mental game is what was lacking these last couple years but now he's got some big game experience and it's really all come together.
 
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Nathaniel_Near

Guest
I think him underachieving most of his career is what made it possible to reach these new heights. Playing with a mediocre forehand for all those years forced the rest of his game to be better. Now that he's shed the handicap, and made the weakness into a strength, he's gone up a level automatically almost.

The mental game is what was lacking these last couple years but now he's got some big game experience and it's really all come together.
Feels similar to what happened with Djokovic after he finally more or less sorted out his serve.
 

Chanwan

G.O.A.T.
I'm not sure on all these counts because I can't remember instances of his endurance being exposed before 2013 and generally I have a bad memory.

You needed to add an e) tactical and strategic astuteness (Norman).
You don't strike me as someone with a bad memory, but I remember you saying that before ;-)
True on e).

In general, I think his movement and ability to hang in the rallies have improved from prior. And he's in a better position to hit those power groundies.
I've said for a few months if not longer, than when Stan is on, he's got the best package of groundies (plus serve for that matter) on the entire tour.

I think him underachieving most of his career is what made it possible to reach these new heights. Playing with a mediocre forehand for all those years forced the rest of his game to be better. Now that he's shed the handicap, and made the weakness into a strength, he's gone up a level automatically almost.

The mental game is what was lacking these last couple years but now he's got some big game experience and it's really all come together.
Great perspective on it.
Feels similar to what happened with Djokovic after he finally more or less sorted out his serve.
And improved his forehand.
His confidence and "IQ" for tennis improved. Picks and chooses spots better. Add his amazing power and you have a guy who maybe is too high risk to win consistently in GS, but when he's HOT, he's unstoppable.
Yep, yep.
 

BlueB

Legend
Wawa over achieved so far. 2 slam finals and won them both. Not that he made it to too many other finals either...
Great player when he's on, though.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
I would like to hear what people think of my a-d list. Anyone? Cheers.
Instead of an a-to-d list, Good To Great and Magnus gave Stan a CARE package: their credo is success is achieved through living and working together to improve

Concentration
Attitude
Respect
Energy
 
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