Stanislas Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam Champion has made a comeback in 2022 after almost a season-long hiatus in 2021. The other big problems for Stan are that he is reaching an age when the body starts to take longer to heal and comeback seems every bit harder. The rehabs become much more painful and the thoughts of retirement start creeping up in the mind. But things have never come easy for Stan, he was ‘the great latecomer‘ due to the major successes late in his career.
Stan knew how much effort recovery took from his 2017 injury, and he was still up for the task to make a comeback on the tour. But the efforts were not without a lot of self-doubts, pain, and questions. In “The Last Chapter” Stan wrote about his feelings and questions, he wrote: You still cannot walk. When will I be able to run again? You know you’ll never be as good as you once were. Does it make sense for me to continue? You know how much blood, sweat, and tears it will take to come back. Is this really what I want?
He continued: “My biggest talent, I think, has always been that I love hard work. Even as a kid, I liked the physical and mental exhaustion. Of course, I enjoy hitting an ace or smashing a winner down the line. But there is also something beautiful about pushing yourself to the limit.” Even after a big loss, Stan feels that his love for tennis is too much to not try and make a strong comeback.
Stan Wawrinka enjoys the sport and he believes that he will stay for his last chapter
Wawrinka had won his first Grand Slam aged 29 and he consistently faced the world number 1’s for all three Grand Slam titles. He fought off Rafael Nadal in 2014 for the Australian Open title and then defeated Novak Djokovic in 2015 and 2016 for the French Open and the US Open respectively. He has been one of the most phenomenal players because, despite age when he was supposed to be past his prime, he has been at his stunning best. He believes that his love for the sport has made him work harder every time.
Stan knows that he has entered the final phase of his tennis career. He writes: “I know that this is the final part of my career, one last chapter. I cannot play forever. I think I have two or three years left at most. I want to enjoy them, and the only way to do that is to give myself the best possible chance to win a trophy. How do I do that? I push myself to the limit.” And to the questions of his motivation and whether he enjoys the sweat, bruises, and pain involved in such a herculean task, Wawrinka responded aptly.
Wawrinka sums up his motivation with a simple yet powerful example from his last match in Queen’s club against Francis Tiafoe, who was about to defeat Stan, but he came back from down match points to win the match 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 he wrote: “Two days later, I felt every one of my 37 years. My legs were screaming. Mentally, I was drained. My body was completely exhausted. And all I wanted was to play another match.”
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