Roger Federer is one of the best players in the modern era without any question. He has won the adulation of fans and respect among the past and present tennis players with his exceptional play in the sport. One of the players whom he has had a huge influence on is his Swiss compatriot, Stan Wawrinka.
Stan Wawrinka, the three-time Grand Slam winner in a recent interview with L’Illustre, spoke about his close bond with his good friend Roger Federer.
“He taught me a lot. When I got on the tour, he was already World No. 1 and had won several Grand Slams. Few young players have had the chance to train with a champion of this level.”
He also spoke about how the Big three brought out the best in him,
“I have always enjoyed learning from others and I often say that I owe a lot of my Grand Slam titles to Roger Federer, and to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal too.”
He further spoke about how lucky he has been to train with Federer and the advice that he received on learning to live in the present,
“At the start of my career, I was able to count on Roger’s advice before I faced the best. He was like a big brother on the circuit. The importance of living in the present moment. For twenty years, it has been used daily by the press, fans, travel, tournaments, training. His days are ultra-busy and yet he remains in an incredible calm.”
When asked about the biggest regret in his career, he recalled the match against Roger in the 2014 ATP Tour Final. He squandered several chances which let his compatriot off the hook and seal the match in his favour,
“ATP World Tour Final semifinal against Roger Federer in 2014, by far. I lost the game after getting four match points. I had to win and that day I didn’t do what it took to get there. To have been able to play Djokovic in the final and hope to win it would have been enormous. I missed this chance.”
He further elaborated on how hard the defeat hit him,
“It was very, very hard. The next night, I hardly slept. I agitated a lot and spoke with relatives to distract myself. What saved me was that I had to play the Davis Cup final a few days later. The next day, I joined the team in Lille.”
Wawrinka has been dealing with injuries for the past few months but he is working hard on his comeback.