Wawrinka's One Wish For 2017
Swiss opens in Shanghai on Wednesday
By every measure, Stan Wawrinka has enjoyed one of his best seasons. He's won four tour-level titles, tying his career-best mark. He also captured his third Grand Slam tournament title when he beat Novak Djokovic during the US Open final last month.
So what, if anything, could Wawrinka possibly wish for in the year ahead? The return of the one thing – or person, rather – who's been missing during the second half of the season: Wawrinka's countryman, Roger Federer.
When asked what his two wishes for 2017 would be, Wawrinka said, “For tennis in general, that Roger will be back at the top with no injury. I think it's always good for everybody when he's playing. And for myself, I don't have any – I'm working every day to try to make the best I can with my tennis career, so we'll see how I can play next year.”
Wawrinka can do little about his first wish; Federer plans to return to the ATP World Tour in 2017 after a full recuperation from his knee injury. But Wawrinka can and will try to improve his tennis career. This week, he's the third seed at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, the season's eighth and penultimate ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. Wawrinka has already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, but he could achieve a career-best fifth title this week and take his second career Masters 1000 title (Monte-Carlo 2014).
“Always enjoy coming back... The tournament is doing an amazing job for the players, not only on-site but also off-site, if we want to discover the city, if we want to go to nice restaurant,” he said. “So I always enjoy my time here.”
The Swiss has played at the Shanghai Rolex Masters seven times and has reached the quarter-finals twice. He lost to Rafael Nadal in both 2013 and 2015. Wawrinka knows this year's field will be tough as well.
“It's a Masters 1000, a strong draw like always, with almost everybody playing, so we need to start well,” Wawrinka said. “So far I'm quite happy with the practice.”
Wawrinka opens against British qualifier Kyle Edmund on Wednesday. The 21-year-old #NextGen star broke into the Top 50 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, climbing six spots following a quarter-final run at the China Open (l. to Murray).