Most of the crowd at the Rome Masters seems happy to see Wawrinka back to winning ways. He now has two wins in a row, vs Opelka and Djere. Next up Djokovic.
Wawrinka is a crowd favorite in many places, not only Rome of course. Three grand slam titles, one Masters title, and those whopping groundstrokes. He has also been a part of many classic matches, several of them featuring Novak Djokovic. Will Wawrinka back to winning ways mean that he can threaten Novak?
The world number one is not yet his best, so maybe an inspired Wawrinka can take a set? It’s not impossible. It’s still difficult to see him defeating Novak, but it would be great for the tournament to have a blockbuster match. Not that there haven’t been good matches, but like a modern classic throwback match.
Where can Stan go from here?
Wawrinka has said in several interviews that he feels like he has some good tennis left in him. He wants to find out how much and stringing together a few wins in a Masters tournament will sure make him feel like there is more.
Can he come back to winning grand slams? No, I think that period has passed. But some deep runs and classic matches when he’s at his best!
Otherwise, it looks like both Novak and Rafa are getting ready for the French Open. It also seems like they want to give some of the pressure to rising star Alcaraz, alleviating some of their own. Coach Evan remarked this to me in an email and I think that’s true.
No matter how spellbinding Alcaraz has been so far in 2022, I think Novak and Rafa need to be the favorites when it comes to Grand Slams. Thiem is not yet there, Tsitsipas can do some damage on clay, Zverev maybe, but Alcaraz is perhaps already 3rd or 4th favorite to the title!