Leading his opponent, Sweden’s Mikael Ymer, by just over a set on Friday in the Moselle Open quarterfinals, Stan Wawrinka had to work hard to come out on top in nearly three hours (6-4, 4-6, 7-6).
The adventure could have ended in the quarterfinals from which he would have already learned many positive things, but Stan Wawrinka decided to go a little further, on Friday night, in Metz, going to get his place in the semifinals of the Moselle Open. , against the Swedish Mikael Ymer, 100th in the ATP (6-4, 4-6, 7-6 in 2h49).
Here he is in the quarterfinals of the main ATP circuit for the first time since January 2020, in Doha. It was in the pre-Covid world. An eternity. He had to fight against his opponent, who is worth much more than his ranking (last week, in the Davis Cup, Mikael Ymer beat Diego Schwartzman and Jannik Sinner) and against his own physique, who is the age of his passport (37 years). years).
Guaranteed to re-enter the top 200, to begin with
Massaged for three minutes by the ATP coach on the upper left thigh shortly before the end of the second set, it was obvious the muscles were pulling, the contractures were coming and the Swiss’ time was running out. Especially when he faced three break points in a row, at 1-0 in the third set for the Swede. But Wawrinka, who occasionally chained long free kicks, still had some reserve.
He led 4-2, rallied, came within two points of defeat, but concluded with a superb forehand winner down the line. Symbolizing this particular shot, which had been particularly penetrating for most of the match.
“I feel like I’m playing at home. »
“The pleasure was throughout the gameswore Wawrinka, 284th this week and coming off the leaderboard but already guaranteed to find himself in the top 200 on Monday. Well, it’s about fatigue, physique and mental, and it’s also bad for fautes, more dans l’ensemble c’était quand me un level très relevé et je suis super content d’avoir gagné ce tie-pause. It is a great victory, with great support from the public. I want to play at home. »
As all the French were eliminated in Metz, should feel even more at home on Saturday when he challenges, in the semifinals, the winner of the fourth quarter, between Kazakh Alexander Bublik (44th) and Denmark’s Holger Rune (31st). But how fit will he be, after five games in six days?