Stan Wawrinka had been repeating for several weeks that he felt he was there, not so far away, even very close; he felt that what he produced in training would eventually translate into the game. We gladly take his word for it, but with deeds, it is even better. On Thursday night, in the well-stocked Arènes de Metz dazzled by the spectacle, the former world No. 3, who dropped to No. 284 this week, unseated Moselle Open No. 1 seed Daniil Medvedev ( 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 in 2h20).
There is the victory against the number 4 in the world, of course, but above all there is the road. Wawrinka could have finished in straight sets as he led 6 points to 5 in the second set tie-break, crossing his backhand too much. But he did even better then, never letting go of his line or the score in Act III. Beyond his one-handed backhand, hitting like at his best, he added a science of the game that clearly embarrassed Medvedev. He read the Russian better than the other way around, and although the one who was still world No. 1 three weeks ago could count on his first serve in particular to keep him afloat, he never appeared in the comfort of the court.
In the third set, Wawrinka missed two balls to make it 4-0 and then Medvedev went back to 3-3, but it was said that the best player on the field on Thursday night would win. It is logical, then, that the Swiss went to look for the last game, at his service, with another string of winning shots that delighted the public.
“The main reason I follow is precisely to experience matches like this”
“I was a bit hesitant on some shots in the tie break, and against a defender like Daniil, it’s something you can’t afford.Wawrinka acknowledged at the microphone on the court, after his best performance in two years. But in the end I played very well and I’m very happy with the level. i’m pretty old now (37 years) and the main reason why I follow is precisely to experience games like this. I am super happy and I look forward to more. »
Already confident, before this tournament, in the prospect of having a good 2023 season, Wawrinka, however, intends to stay in the present, which will offer him the quarterfinal against the Swede Mikael Ymer (100th) on Friday: “I have suffered a lot for two years, it has been difficult to return to normality, tennis and physically, so the most important thing now is, every time, to leave everything on the field. »