Stan Wawrinka had to be 38 before he could face Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon Garden for the first time. an opportunity? “Zero,” said the Vaud native.
For the first time in 8 years, Stan Wawrinka is in the third round of Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam tournament he has never won. In 2015 he lost in an epic quarterfinal to Richard Gasquet 9:11 in the fifth set. In the semifinals, he would next meet Novak Djokovic, who ended up winning his third of his seven Wimbledon titles in the final against Roger Federer.
Now he can catch up on what he missed earlier on Friday evening at Central Court (from about 7pm, live on SRF Zwei). Not the lost title, but the first match on the “holy turf” against Djokovic. “This is what I’ve been missing in my career,” Wawrinka said after his hard-fought win over Argentine No. 29 Thomas Echeverri. “It’s a great honor to play against Djokovic.”
He cost Wawrinka Djokovic two major titles
Not that he rarely – or unsuccessfully – did it. The two have played each other 26 times, and Wawrinka has won six times, including his first tournament victory in 2006 in Umag (CRO) and four times in major tournaments. “He took two Grand Slam titles away from me,” is Djokovic’s first thought with the prospect of a duel with Romand, who is two years his senior. “After those difficult knee surgeries, and at almost 40 years old, he’s still fighting and creating new stories. Not many can say that about themselves.”
SRF Zwei Tennis Live will kick off this Friday at 12:00pm – initially with the focus on the Viktorija Golubic match. All other games involving Switzerland can be watched either on rotation on TV or on our website and in the Sports App in their full length and without commentary.
Also daily integrally broadcast: Games from Center Court, Court 1 and Court 2 (no commentary).
Admiration is understandable. Wawrinka beat Djokovic in the finals of the 2015 French Open and the 2016 US Open, in the quarter-finals of the 2014 Australian Open and in the round of 16 of the 2019 US Open. So only Wimbledon missed. “Zero chance,” the man from Lausanne said, laughing. He knows he no longer has the ability he had a few years ago. With the strong performance, he won two rounds at a major tournament in London for the first time since Paris 2020.
Find Djokovic’s weakness
“I am very happy with the way things are going so far,” confirms Wawrinka. But: “Did you see him play?” You enter with a laugh. “Just give me one weak point.” He hopes he can at least “put a fight in and make the game fun”. He had to play his best game in the past. “And I haven’t been able to do that for a long time.”
Wawrinka sees himself as a clear outsider against Djokovic – as much as anyone else, especially on grass. The Serb hasn’t lost at Wimbledon in 6 years, not even on center court since the 2013 final against Andy Murray. With a hint of humor, the Swiss says: “I will play against Djokovic on Friday, and then I will enjoy watching the rest of the tournament.”
Still see a small advantage. “If I play really well and keep the score close, Djokovic will definitely think he’s already lost some big matches against me.” Not many can say that about themselves.
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