Wawrinka surprises and deepens the crisis of a provocative Medvedev

Wawrinka surprises and deepens the crisis of a provocative Medvedev

The current reality of Stanislas Wawrinka is very different from that which he knew a few years ago. In 2014, the Swiss won the Australian Open and reached third place in the ATP rankings, while in the following years he also won a Roland Garros and a US Open. However, two left knee surgeries in 2017 meant “Stan” was off the track for a long time. Last year, two more operations, this time on the left foot, put the Swiss on the brink of retirement. These setbacks have not made Wawrinka give up, and the Swiss continues to compete despite being a long way from the glory he enjoyed just over five years ago. Today, the player who is now the 284 in the world, surprised the Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-7 (7) and 6-3 in 2h24 of the match in the round of 16 of the ATP 250 in Metz. That of Moscow, in addition, had an ugly gesture with the French public.

This Thursday is Wawrinka’s most important triumph since in 2020 he beat Andrey Rublev, then eight in the world, at the Masters 1000 in Paris. The last few years have been very complicated for the Swiss, who in 2021 ended his season in March. In this 2022, ‘Stan’ returned to the courts also in March, although this round was not easy at all: in his first 12 matches on the ATP Tour, he won only three. Arrived in Metz, Wawrinka had accumulated six consecutive defeats, including several in renowned events such as Wimbledon or the US Open. Swiss had to go through the preliminary phase to reach the final table of this tournament, and he succeeded by winning over Djere and Piros. These victories brought a smile back to the winner of three Grand Slam tournaments, who took advantage of the moment yesterday to overthrow Sousa, and today he did the same against world number four Medvedev.

Wawrinka took advantage of Medvedev’s serious error on serve, a problem that reappears in Russian tennis. The former world number one committed 12 faults, and won barely 31% of the points played with his second serve (13/42). Moreover, the Swiss managed to overcome the fact of not closing the match in the tie-break of the second set, in which he had a “match-ball”. This victory gives a good dose of confidence to a Wawrinka who, counting the matches of the previous phase, already has four consecutive victories, something he hadn’t achieved since 2020 (when he reached the quarter-finals in Australia and won the Prague Challenger). Stanislas will face Sweden’s Ymer in the next phase, in what will be the first quarter-final of an ATP tournament for Wawrinka for the first time since January 2021, when he reached that round in Melbourne (although he won’t did not play the game due to injury). .

This defeat is another setback in the difficult year that Medvedev is going through. The Russian, who lost world number one to Alcaraz just over a week ago after being eliminated in the round of 16 at the US Open, has only won the Los Cabos tournament this season. In fact, this triumph in Mexico is the only one the Russian has won since last year he won the first Grand Slam of his career in New York. His attitude on the track this Thursday left something to be desired again, and Daniil returned to face the stands, as he has done on several occasions in the past. On this occasion, after giving up his serve in the third set, Medvedev slammed his racquet on the floor and, getting scolded by the French crowd, the Russian addressed them with his thumbs down and his hands under his armpits. This didn’t sit well with the fans, who continued with the boos.

In the other big match of the day in France, Dominic Thiem couldn’t get a win similar to Wawrinka’s. The Austrian, winner of a Grand Slam and very burdened in recent years by injuries, today faced the player with the highest ranking since his return to tennis in 2022. The Pole Hubert Hurkacz (10 in the world) left Thiem no option, and won in just an hour and a quarter by 6-3 and 6-4, truncating the dream of now 182 in the ATP ranking. The local could not advance either Gilles Simon, former world number six and triple champion in Metz. The Frenchman, who will retire from professional tennis at 37 once his participation in the next Masters 1000 in Paris ended, he could not beat the Italian Lorenzo Sonego, winner 7-6 (2) and 6-4.

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