Stan Wawrinka calls out Indian Wells tournament director Tommy Haas over practice ball gripe

Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka acknowledges the crowd.

Stan Wawrinka recently expressed his displeasure with the practice balls available to professionals in advance of the 2024 Indian Wells Masters, which takes place next week.

The 38-year-old hasn’t had the best start to the season after losing three of his first four ATP Tour matches.

He will next compete in the Indian Wells Masters, the first ATP 1000 level tournament of the season.

Wawrinka was not impressed with the Penn balls he received during a practice session, especially given the Masters status of the Palm Springs event.

The three-time Major champion complained about the balls wearing out after only one rally on his X account.

Wawrinka even tagged the Indian Wells Masters Tournament Director Tommy Haas and the ATP Tour in his post.

“Question: Is not normal that in 2024 at @BNPPARIBASOPEN one of biggest tennis tournaments in the world , we have to do are 2nd practice with old balls ?? @atptour @TommyHaas13 Thats 1 rally play with the ball,” Stan Wawrinka wrote on X.

Wawrinka is not the only player to raise the issue of ball inconsitency with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev expressing their dissatisfaction.

Last year, Wawrinka had a good season considering his age. The former World No. 3 had an ATP Tour win/loss record of 27–23, with one of his best finishes coming at the 2023 Croatia Open in Umag as the runner-up against World No 38 Alexei Popyrin.

The three-time Major champion was a regular presence in the elite ATP Tour ranks until an early 2021 foot injury.

The 38-year-old was sidelined for a year after undergoing two operations to address the problem, which caused his singles ranking to drop far outside the top 200.

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Injury disrupted his preparations for the 2024 season but Wawrinka has been determined to soldier on.

“I didn’t do the work I wanted in the offseason because I got injured in the last tournament,” he said in Melbourne.

In Australia, Wawrinka insisted that he still doesn’t have any plans to retire.

“Hopefully not. Hopefully not. I will see how the year goes. It’s just the beginning of the year,” Wawrinka said after he was knocked out of the Australian Open and was asked if it might be his last visit to Melbourne.

“In general, I’m quite positive with where I am right now. Even after the loss, I think there is some good opportunity for me to keep pushing, keep playing some good result, and hopefully I can come back next year.”