Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka Biography.com

Tennis Player(1985–)
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka is an elite athlete who has won Olympic gold and multiple Grand Slam singles tennis titles.

Synopsis

Born in Switzerland in 1985, Stan Wawrinka left school at age 15 to pursue his tennis career. Renowned for his one-handed backhand, Wawrinka teamed with Roger Federer to win gold in doubles at the 2008 Olympics, and in 2014 he beat several top players to claim the Australian Open championship. Wawrinka captured his second Grand Slam title by defeating top seed Novak Djokovic in the 2015 French Open final. The following year he won his first U.S. Open title.

Early Years

Stanislas "Stan" Wawrinka was born on March 28, 1985, in Lausanne, Switzerland, to parents Wolfram and Isabelle. The second of four tennis-playing siblings, he learned the sport at age 8 when he began practicing with coach Dimitri Zavialoff.

Wawrinka was competing in international junior tennis events by age 14, and at 15 he left school, continuing his education via distance learning while he played full time on the satellite circuit. In 2003 his efforts paid off when he became the junior French Open champion and was ranked 7th among juniors worldwide.

Professional Career

After turning professional in 2002, Wawrinka earned his first ATP Tour victory at the Croatian Open in 2006. He finished that year ranked in the Top 40 and continued his promising rise in 2007 with a fourth-round showing at the U.S. Open. In 2008, he teamed with Swiss superstar Roger Federer to win the gold medal in doubles at the Beijing Olympics, and he finished the year ranked 9th in the world.

The owner of a powerful one-handed backhand, Wawrinka at times displayed top-level ability against the sport's elite. He claimed his second ATP Tour title in 2010 with a victory at the Grand Prix Hassan II and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open that year and the Australian Open in 2011. 

However, Wawrinka's career truly took off after he joined forces in 2013 with coach Magnus Norman, a former top-seeded player. Wawrinka won his fourth title—his first in more than two years—at the Portugal Open, and later that summer he pushed top-seeded Novak Djokovic to the limit in a five-set semifinal loss at the U.S. Open.

In 2014 Wawrinka claimed his revenge against Djokovic with an epic quarterfinal win at the Australian Open and capped an impressive two-week run by knocking off the No. 1 ranked Rafael Nadal in the final to earn his first Grand Slam championship. It was the first time since 2009 that someone outside of the "Big 4" of men's tennis—Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray—had won a major singles title.

A deflating first-round loss at the French Open followed, but Wawrinka also scored a big victory by defeating Federer to win the Monte Carlo Masters, and he also reached the quarterfinals of both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He capped an all-around outstanding 2014 by helping Switzerland defeat France for the Davis Cup championship.

Wawrinka opened 2015 by advancing to the semifinals of the Australian Open, before suffering a tough loss to Djokovic. He failed to successfully defend his title at Monte Carlo, but a few weeks later he became the signature figure at the French Open. Drawing attention for his plaid shorts, Wawrinka scored a decisive straight-set victory over Federer in the quarterfinals, before knocking off his old foe, Djokovic, to win his second Grand Slam title.

Facing heightened expectations, Wawrinka was unable to match that success in subsequent majors, but he won a few smaller tournaments to build momentum in the early months of 2016. At the French Open, he battled back from a tough first-round match to advance to the semifinals, but saw his hopes of repeating as champion dashed when he fell to Murray in four sets. Wimbeldon 2016 was also a disappointment for Wawrinka. There he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in four sets in only the second round of play. But the tides changed at the U.S. Open where he defeated Novak Djokovic 6-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to take the title. It was his first U.S. Open title.

Personal

Wawrinka resides in Saint-Barthélemy, close to his hometown of Lausanne. A tattoo on his left forearm features the words of Irish writer Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."

In December 2009 Wawrinka married Swiss television personality Ilham Vuilloud, but they announced their separation in April 2015. They have one child, a daughter named Alexia, whose name and handprint are tattooed on Wawrinka's lower right torso.

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