CHENNAI: ‘Stan the Man’ are the words printed on World No 4 Wawrinka’s T-shirt. True to the slogan and reputation as one of the best players in the world, the Swiss star once again demonstrated that he is the man to beat with a fluent 6-4, 6-4 win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, ranked No 27 in the World, in the quarterfinals of the Chennai Open on Friday.
At a time when most top-ranked players prefer to use Chennai Open as a paid holiday before going to the Australian Open, Wawrinka has used this event to polish his game. When he first played here about eight years back, he was known more as a doubles partner to Swiss legend Roger Federer. All questions he faced at press conferences in the initial years were about his famous partner.
This must have irked him, but he waited for his time. After his exploits at Chennai, he won the Australian Open in 2014 and last season, he also bagged the French Open.
Now the questions he faces rather awkwardly are how he is going to beat Federer. But the man is modest as ever and just after a convincing win over Garcia Lopez, he said he was happy with the way he was playing and found his game to be ‘smooth’.
Garcia-Lopez knew very early in the match that he was up against one the best players in the world. He had to literally sweat it out to save each and every point. He was pushed to the wall by Wawrinka who served brilliantly, returned smoothly and importantly, had the uncanny ability to up the tempo at will.
In the decider, while serving in the second game, the Swiss won the game as Garcia-Lopez could not touch the ball even once.
“Everything was good. I was serving well and moving well too. I like the conditions here (Chennai) very much, the last two years I won titles here playing very good tennis, said Wawrinka. “I am working to improve my backhand,’’ added the star, insisting that he was not copying his Swiss partner Federer’s style.