“Always Got Killed” – Stan Wawrinka on Facing Rafael Nadal at French Open

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Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka earned his spot in the quarterfinals at St. Petersburg Open, after winning a three-set match against Evgeny Donskoy 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. At the French Open 2020, Wawrinka was halted by the French wildcard player, 19-year-old Hugo Gaston. After advancing to the last eight, the former French Open champion sang the praises of the 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal.

“What [Rafael Nadal] is achieving so far in the French Open is one of the greatest achievements of any sports probably, winning 13-time [the] French Open. The way he’s doing it, it’s something amazing. I had the chance to play him there [twice] at the French Open, always got killed, so I know how difficult it is to play him there,” Wawrinka shared.

On the Parisian clay, they locked horns in 2013 and 2017. On both occasions, Wawrinka lost 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.

Stan Wawrinka on GOAT debate

Stan Wawrinka gave his insights regarding the GOAT debate, which has been persisting in the tennis world for over a decade now. The Swiss star believes it’s a privilege to watch Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic compete against each other. He simply enjoys their action and believes there’s still time to decide the greatest amongst the three Goliaths of the sport.

Rafael Nadal
Tennis – French Open – Galeries Lafayette Rooftop, Paris, France – October 12, 2020 SpainÕs Rafael Nadal poses with the trophy after winning the French Open yesterday REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

“And I think it’s always difficult to compare the Big Three, especially those amazing athletes, especially that they’re still playing, so we don’t know who the GOAT is right now. I think we will have to wait and see,” he added.

“I think we have to more enjoy that they’re still playing, they’re still doing something amazing for our sport in general, and that’s something that I like to watch. I like to watch them play and as long as they will play, I will enjoy that.”

Wawrinka is the only tennis player who has beaten both Djokovic and Nadal at a Grand Slam. He picked up a major title at the Australian Open 2014. During this quarterfinals match against Novak in Melbourne, he closed out the match 9–7 in the final set after being a break down. Also, that epic win ended his 14-match losing streak against the three-time defending champion and the King of Melbourne, Djokovic.

Stan Wawrinka at the ST. Petersburg Open 2020
Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in action during his second round match against Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

In the finals, he faced off against Rafa and bagged very first victory against him in 13 attempts. In their previous 12 meetings, Wawrinka failed to pull off a set from the Spanish maestro. However, that year, he denied Rafa a second Aussie major crown.

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