Wawrinka on a duel with Sinner: “He kicked my ass twice”

Wawrinka on a duel with Sinner: “He kicked my ass twice”

Stan Wawrinka, of Switzerland, reacts during a match against Tomas Martin Etcheverry, of Argentina, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, in New York. ...

Stan Wawrinka: old but good.Bild: keystone

Stan Wawrinka feels “old but still good”. In the 3rd round of the US Open, a very big chunk awaits in the generational duel against Jannik Sinner on Saturday.

Stan Wawrinka feels “old but still good”. In the 3rd round of the US Open, a very big chunk awaits in the generational duel against Jannik Sinner on Saturday.

Even at the age of 38, Stan Wawrinka never ceases to amaze. On Thursday, the man from Vaud wowed New York tennis fans in the sweltering afternoon heat with a four-set win over number 30 seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry. In the end, it was the 14-year-old Argentinian who slacked off. The unseeded veteran was stronger, more enduring and hungry for victory.

“I saw that Etcheverry was physically suffering,” said Wawrinka after the win. And with a smile: “Of course I’m old, but I feel good.” It wasn’t easy mentally either after he couldn’t take a chance to lead the set 2-0 and it was 1-1 after two hours of play. “It’s very positive to have fought my way out of there.”

Enjoy emotions for as long as possible

The joy of the fight and the emotions with the many spectators motivate Wawrinka to keep working hard with his coach Magnus Norman and to still want to improve every day. “I know that I won’t experience anything like this again after my career,” the three-time Grand Slam champion is aware. That’s why he wants to delay its end for as long as possible.

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epa05535750 Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's final on the final day of the US Open Tennis Championshi ...

In 2016, Wawrinka won his 3rd Grand Slam title at the US Open. Image: EPA/EPA

Is he even as good as he was in 2016 when he triumphed in the final against Novak Djokovic at the US Open? “I can’t and don’t want to compare it,” he says. It is clear that a lot is a question of self-confidence. This increases with every victory, but is now being put to the test.

Sinner with a better record in direct encounters

Jannik Sinner is the only player who is generally believed to be able to prevent another final duel between Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. The number 6 in the world from the South Tyrolean ski resort of Sesto won a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time three weeks ago in Toronto and only lost 15 games in six sets in his first two games at the US Open. “It will not only be a huge challenge physically, but also simply in terms of tennis level,” Wawrinka is aware.

The two have met twice this year. In Rotterdam, Sinner won 6-1, 6-3, in Indian Wells 6-1, 6-4. “He kicked my ass twice,” recalls the Swiss. But: “I play much better than I did then.” The medium-fast conditions in New York with the relatively high humidity suit both players.

Last year, the 22-year-old Italian delivered a terrific fight at the highest level against the eventual winner Alcaraz in the quarter-finals and lost after five and a quarter hours and his own match point. The future definitely belongs to Sinner, in the present Wawrinka would like to be the one who pushes this future a little further. (kat/sda)

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The best pictures of the US Open 2023

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The best pictures of the US Open 2023

quelle: keystone / sarah yenesel

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