Stan Wawrinka was two points away from postponing his third round match against Novak Djokovic. Romand led 5:3 in the third set tiebreak, but was unable to capitalize on his chance. With two minor errors, he allowed the Serbs to equalize with a score of 5: 5, after which he grabbed the favorite with two good points. The match ended at 10:45 pm local time. At 11pm it should have been postponed.
For Wawrinka, dueling against a tennis dominator was insightful as to where he stood. He started well but then had several breaks and clearly lost the first two sets. In the third round he was able to keep up better – also because Djokovic was not quite determined anymore and made some mistakes. However, Wawrinka was unable to earn a break in those two hours. 3:6, 1:6, 6:7 (5:7) reflected events well.
It was amazing how serious Djokovic took this challenge. He didn’t approach the match like a regular third round match, but started from the beginning like in a semi-final or final. This shows how much he respects Wawrinka, whom he defeated in three Grand Slam duels. “It’s incredible what Stan is still able to do at his age, after so many surgeries,” said the 23-time Grand Slam champion. “I appreciate him very much as a player and as a person.”
“It was the expected difficult match,” said Wawrinka. “I’m not at the current level to beat Djokovic like that. Playing against him with his current level and self-confidence is difficult for me. I’m glad I could keep up better in the third set. If I can put pressure on him, he’s untouchable. It’s a shame.” , I made these mistakes in the end.”
Romand, who reached the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time after returning in February 2022, said he could be very satisfied with the tournament. “I have a streak, I work hard to keep improving my level. It is progressing step by step. I don’t know if I will ever get back to the level to beat someone like Djokovic. The future will tell.” Wawrinka continues the next week at the Sand Championships in Gstaad. (sg.)