Stan Wawrinka compares facing Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and names ‘perfect player’
Stan Wawrinka has assessed the different challenges of playing Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and expressed that it is “always something special” to face the ‘Big Three.’
The three-time Grand Slam champion identified that each of the legendary trio “have a different style of play”, but declared Djokovic is “the perfect player.”
Wawrinka was one of two players — along with Andy Murray — besides Federer, Nadal and Djokovic to secure multiple major titles during the era dominated by the three legends. The Swiss won the Australian Open in 2014, the French Open in 2015 and the US Open in 2016.
Wawrinka, a former world No 3, holds the following records against the Big Three: 6-21 against Djokovic; 3-19 against Nadal; 3-23 against Federer.
The current world No 60 will compete at the ATP 250 clay-court tournament in Buenos Aires this week, where he will face Pedro Cachin in the opening round on Monday.
In an interview with Olé, Wawrinka addressed the differences in facing each of his three greatest rivals.
“I think they have a different style of play. You have Rafa who is left-handed, [the matches are] very hard, very physical. It’s hard physically and mentally to play against him,” he explained.
“Roger is a faster player, who makes you feel uncomfortable on the court, and Novak is the perfect player, because of the way he played. I had the chance to beat them several times, but I lost many times against all three of them.
“But for me it was always an opportunity to play against the best players in the history of tennis. Even if I lost to them, it was always a challenge. It’s always something special to play against those players.”
The 38-year-old also divulged his passion for the sport is what motivates him to keep playing despite his age and the injury setbacks he has endured in recent years.
“The passion of sport, without a doubt. I am passionate about what I am doing. It is a great opportunity in life when you find your passion and can turn it into your job,” Wawrinka said.
“The excitement I feel for tennis, the opportunity to travel the world, the fact of returning to Argentina and Buenos Aires, the chance to play in front of many fans from all over the world
“I enjoy every little detail of tennis life. Even the most difficult, as if practising a lot, being disciplined and sacrificing several things. I know that it is part of the process and I enjoy this life and I am also aware that it is not forever, that is why I want to enjoy it as much as possible.”
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