Want Wawrinka's Backhand? Take A Lesson From Stan The Man & His Coaches!
Ever wished you could play with one of world’s best tennis players or learn from two of the world’s best coaches? You can do both at the same time!
Stan Wawrinka and his coaches, Magnus Norman and Daniel Vallverdu, will provide a two-hour lesson to the winner of an auction and their guest to support members of the ATP Coach Programme affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The lesson will take place at an ATP Tour event in Europe or the Americas between January and July 2021
Norman, a former World No. 2 who has worked with Wawrinka for all three of his Grand Slam titles, is excited to spend time with the auction winner.
“They can expect to get the same one-handed backhand as Stan Wawrinka, basically,” Norman joked on ATP Tennis Radio. “I’m going to do basically the same drills. A couple of hand-feeding drills, a couple of racquet-feeding drills, some live-ball [situations] and try to get my knowledge when it comes to technical work across to the player. It’s going to be a fun experience for sure. A fantastic initiative from Dani Vallverdu, who put this together. It’s a fantastic thing.”
There are several auctions and prize draws currently up for grabs until 27 July. A hit with Andy Murray headlines a dream experience at Wimbledon, Toni Nadal will spend two hours on court with an auction winner at the 2021 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and Severin Luthi will give a two-hour lesson at the 2021 Swiss Indoors Basel. The first round of auctions raised more than USD $90,000, including a USD $19,000 winning bid for a US Open VIP Package and coaching session with Ivan Lendl.
“I think it’s great because a lot of the top coaches, they work with top players and it’s maybe another financial situation if you work with top players [compared to] lower-ranked players,” Norman said. “I think especially during these times, lower-ranked players, they cannot afford to pay the salary of a coach when they’re not working together. So obviously the coaches are really struggling at the moment.
“I think it’s great that the top coaches are coming together… it’s incredible, just the things we are doing together. It’s a great thing and it can help a lot of coaches that have been without salary for months now.”
Norman has greatly enjoyed his time as a coach, and he looks forward to giving back to his colleagues when he works with Wawrinka and Vallverdu to put together a special lesson for their package’s winning bidder.
“I’m going to give it everything I have. When the player comes on court I’m going to try to make the player as good as possible,” Norman said. “I think it will be a great experience… It’s going to be a great session and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Wawrinka is excited to support the cause. Funds raised will be allocated by the ATP Coaches Committee. In addition, a part of proceeds will be donated to a global COVID-19 relief fund.
“Our sport owes a lot to coaches and I would not have become the player I did without their help over the years,” Wawrinka said. “I want to thank everyone involved for their support.”
Vallverdu, who has spearheaded these auctions, has been thrilled by the response.
“It has been really exciting to see the response the initiative has received so far. It’s fair to say it has exceeded all our expectations and will go a long way to help coaches,” Vallverdu said. “I want to thank everyone for their generous contributions and look forward to fans enjoying the incredible experiences lined up in the second round.”