Stan Wawrinka Continues His Impressive Climb By Beating Casper Ruud

Stan Wawrinka Antwerp ATP 2022

Three-time Grand Slam Champion and former world #3 Stan Wawrinka is looking to continue his recent strong form with a run in Basel. It is the 15th time the Swiss native has competed in the event, though, he is still looking for his first title.

Although predicting Wawrinka to win a title in what is a loaded Basel field may be a bit brash, his Tuesday result should go a long way in his overall confidence as he aims to reemerge inside the World’s top 150.¬†Wawrinka downed French Open and US Open runner-up Casper Ruud 6-4 6-4 in the first-round. Cheered to the rafters by the crowd on his home soil, Wawrinka hit 28 winners and just 11 unforced errors in his highest-ranked win since 2019.

In his post-match interview, Wawrinka said results like these are why he keeps playing.

“This is one of the main reasons why I keep on playing. I’m getting old, that’s for sure. I had to fight the last two years with the injury, surgery. Coming back was not easy. I was struggling really to get back in shape physically and tennis-wise. So to be able to produce that tonight here in Switzerland is of course something really special and hopefully I can keep playing well.”

The 2022 season has been one full of trials and tribulations for the 37-year-old Swiss. After sitting out for over a year, Wawrinka made his return to the ATP Tour in late March. The road back to high-level tennis for an aging player coming off of foot surgery has not been easy. Wawrinka holds a 9-13 record this season, using mostly protected rankings and special exemptions to enter tournaments. He would show flashes of brilliance but was not able to sustain that level of tennis, that is, until now.

Because Wawrinka’s win over Ruud did not come completely out of nowhere. Over the past month, Wawrinka holds a 6-3 record, including a run out of qualifying and into the semifinals in Metz last month. During that week Wawrinka was able to beat Daniil Medvedev in a two-hour and 49-minute battle. That win seemed to shift any negative thoughts the veteran had about returning to the tour. He proved he was not only able to beat one of the best players in the world but hold up physically in a nearly three-hour match.

The past month of tennis has done a lot for Wawrinka’s confidence and ability to believe he can still hang in there with some of the younger players in the game. Look for the 2014 Australian Open Champion to use these performances at the end of the 2022 season as a major stepping stone toward making some noise at the 2023 Grand Slams.¬†In his quest for glory on home soil, Wawrinka takes on world #44 Brandon Nakashima in the second round in Basel. It will be the first meeting between the two.

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