After watching Stan Wawrinka in his first match after the COVID break, I can safely say that “Stan the Man” is back.
It’s perhaps a dramatic headline for a win over a player who is just inside the top 200 players in the world, but judging by the ball striking “Stan the Man” is back in good form. For the majority of the match, he was hitting the ball cleanly and besides that second set letdown, he was the clear winner: 6-1 4-6 6-1. I tweeted about that second set loss and I wasn’t sure whether he would make it through, but he came back with a vengeance and kept knocking the felt off the ball.
I think the return to pro tour tennis will be easier if the pros show up and play well. It just feels a little bit more normal to watch Wawrinka explode one baseline winner after another. How does he keep getting that pace on the ball? I’m mightily jealous. That THWACK sound of the string bed is just music to my ears.
If you want to watch the highlights of his match, you can check them out below.
Stan the Man Backhand Power
So how do you get that massive groundstroke power that can even defeat a primetime Djokovic? Well, it comes from his technique obviously. He seems to naturally explode into the ball with excellent rotation and hip movement, especially on his backhand wing.
My friend Simon from Top Tennis Training gives his take on Stan Wawrinka’s backhand technique in the video below.
Stan’s forehand is not quite as destructive, although when he is moving and hitting well, that can also generate plenty of damage. Yesterday it did look a bit volatile at times, perhaps because he was going for too much. But if Stan can keep tuning his game, he should be a real threat for the French Open in September.
If you wonder about what racquet Stan uses, check out this post.
Are you a fan of Stan the Man? How do you think he will do in this strange tennis season?