Ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals, which will be played from 9 to 16 November, we come back on the season of each of the eight singles players who will take part in the Final Showdown, from number 8 to number 1.

3: Stan Wawrinka

 
 
Wawrinka
 
 
 
 
 
 

Name: Stan Wawrinka
Age: 29
Year-to-date record: 36-15, 3 titles
Previous appearances at the World Tour Finals: semifinals in 2013

 

A year of fulfilment

Stan Wawrinka has always had an extraordinary talent, but was missing a little extra in order to make his place among the greats of the sport.

In 2013, the “Swiss who loses” (a nickname he had given himself many years ago) started to work with Swedish coach Magnus Norman, the man who helped Robin Södeling enter the top 5 of the ATP World Tour.

With Norman’s input, Wawrinka improved several aspects of his game, especially on the the mental side, which was the most inconsistent part of his game, and a big part of the “little extra” he was lacking.

A talent fulfilled
A talent fulfilled

The effects of Norman’s work began to be seen from the beginning of their relationship, but we really started to see the best of “Stan the Man” in the early stages of 2014, when he won the Chennai tournament before defeating Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and Rafael Nadal in back-to-back matches to win the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam title of his career.

This first major did, indeed, make Stan’s place among the greats, but also came with a new type of pressure: that of being not only a Grand Slam champion, but also the Swiss number one. Not used to being in the spotlight, Wawrinka struggled a little but found his range again, which showed when he defeated his friend and countryman Roger Federer in the final of Monte Carlo to win his first Masters 1000 shield.

After his Monaco crown, Wawrinka’s best result was a semifinal at the Queen’s Club, although he also reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, Cincinnati and the U.S. Open. Fighting to regain his confidence of the first weeks of the season, the Swiss lost in his debut matches of the next three tournaments he played after the Davis Cup semifinals, a streak he ended in Paris-Bercy.

In London, Stan Wawrinka will try to encounter the sensations that made of his 2014 a year of fulfilment. That of his incredible talent.

(Photos: Getty Images)