Back in 2003 at home in Gstaad an 18 year old Stan Wawrinka made his ATP debut.
On debut the teenager lost to Jean-Lene Lisnard in three sets over 17 years ago. During his career he has fought hard and taken his game to another level challenging the best in the sport.
Now, it is possible 2021 could be Stan’s last year on the tour as the Swiss star believe’s he has “one last push” left.
Stan has defined the phrase ‘taking his tennis to the next level’ winning his major in 2014 and going onto win 3 career Grand Slam titles.
Remarkably since his Grand Slam debut at Roland Garros in 2005 the 35 year old has only been absent from two of the last sixty two Grand Slam events both in New York. His first missed event was the 2017 US Open after knee surgery and this years event at Flushing Meadows with the 2016 winner opting not to travel to New York due to covid-19
Since the restart of tennis in August we did see Stan opted for Challenger tennis on the clay in Prague but did struggle to find momentum in Rome and Paris losing to Lorezno Musetti and Hugo Gaston respectively.
Speaking in Paris this week the former major champion said:
“I’m close to the end of my career.” “But I also believe I have one last push that I really want to, again, one more time push myself to the limit, make the sacrifice that you need to make to be at my top, and I’m trying to do that.”
“I’m going to try to even push it more during the off-season and see what next year brings.”
“I think in general my form has been going okay. It’s been going well. I’m playing well. I still need to work on many, many aspects.”
That for me makes Stan stand out, he’s had a tough time with injuries after 2017 Roland Garros but fights back and despite his admission he is coming to the end of his career he still has things he wants to work on.
Success in sport especially tennis comes from a lot but the key is not standing still and always looking to go to the next level.
I do hope for Stan that the 2021 calendar does see some normality resume and see him fighting on all fronts in what could be his final push on the ATP tour.