Last month Stan turned 34 and his career of late has been halted with injuries. At the end of 2017 he had a knee injury which bothered him at Wimbledon and last year missed over 3 months of tennis and struggled with the comeback to the tour.
This year has likewise been a struggle so far. Going into Madrid in a couple of weeks time he is ranked outside top 35 and has a win/loss record of 13/8 for the year.
Personally I don’t feel like we will see his best again.
I don’t like to write a player off, I never have but I feel like that level of tennis when we talk about him winning Masters titles or competing at Grand Slam events.
At the Grand Slams I don’t see him as a genuine contender now and there is still a question over whether he will get back to top 15 level and before we even talk about winning a Grand Slam he isn’t seeded right now for Roland Garros.
Since his knee trouble after the Roland Garros final in 2017 his win/loss at the Grand Slams is 5/6 and I get there is that period of recovery but I do feel that ship has sailed.
Obviously we have seen Rafa and Roger of late return and win majors at a similar age but they are completely different athletes and their achievements are unmatched.
I’ve always enjoyed watching Stan play, the backhand speaks for itself and I am pleased to see him back on the tour but I do think for his longevity in the game going forward either a little more footwork has to go into his game following the backhand or more focus on the forehand as he shouldn’t have lost from 6-0 3-1 in Monte Carlo and those results are a one off but there are patterns in rallies.
We have seen backhands that aren’t ripped being picked off and because of that corner of the court when he unleashes the backhand from (as shown below) leaves the other side open.
Like I said, I don’t think the best is there anymore but I feel like a very good level is possible but some changes need to be integrated into his game.