Wawrinka Takes It Off For ESPN's Body Issue

Swiss goes from 'overweight' teenager to poster boy

Stan Wawrinka likes to put himself in situations that make him nervous. Though he cites sky diving and bungee jumping as examples in an interview with ESPN, you might also add posing nude to the list.

The two-time Grand Slam champion follows in the footsteps of John Isner and Tomas Berdych by baring (almost) all for ESPN The Magazine’s The Body Issue, which annually celebrates the physique of athletes. ESPN released a sneak peek of the photo Monday to commemorate the start of Wimbledon.

“My body is for my tennis, it's for my sport,” Wawrinka shares. “I'm not a model at all. I don't work out to go to the beach, I work out to play well and to do well on the court.”

Model or not, Wawrinka has come a long way from his days as a teenager, when he considered himself a bit overweight. “At that time I wasn't practicing that much, tennis was just a hobby. But it wasn't easy to feel that way.”

Now 30, the Swiss stands at a muscular 6’0” and 179 pounds. Wawrinka, who prevailed against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic to win the Roland Garros title earlier this month, credited his long-time fitness coach, Pierre Paganini, as an instrumental part of his success.

“We've been working together for more than 10 years,” he says. “He's always involved in my decisions, my schedule, my preparation. Even if the conditions during the final were very hot, I was able to maintain my level and play a great match without important ups and downs.”

Wawrinka also revealed the key to two of his weapons – his serve and one-handed backhand. “It's coming from my movement and coming from all my body and also my back and my abs – I do a lot of back and abs and core. It's all about the core exercises for warm-up.”

The issue hits newsstands on 10 July.

Read Full ESPN Interview