The Stanimal is back, well at least for the last set against Murray. After a string of poor performances at the other clay events, he proved that the Stanimal can wake up whenever he wants. He’ll need to stay awake if Wawrinka wants any chance at dethroning Nadal on Sunday. Let’s take a look at how Stan got here.
Wawrinka looked a bit shaky as always in his first round win against Kovalik, winning 6-2, 7-6 (6), 6-3. It might not have been the greatest performance, but then again, when does Wawrinka ever play consistently? He stumbled a bit in the second set, but he was able to regain his composure en route to a straight sets victory over the Slovakian.
Ponytail Not Enough For Dolgopolov
The always unpredictable Dolgopolov was unable to get past Stan as the Swiss calmly and swiftly brushed him aside, winning 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-5 to gain entry into the third round. What might have seemed like rust to viewers was simply Stan conserving his energy to release the true power of the Stanimal against Rafa.
Battle Of Inconsistency
Wawrinka taught Fognini a lesson in how to be inconsistent. Fognini raced out to an early lead, and he was just about to get his hands on the first set, but he squandered a couple of set points, including one on an easy volley, and Wawrinka made him pay. It was clear that the Italian was deflated following the tiebreak loss, and he proceeded to lose the next two sets quite comfortably as Wawrinka eased into the third round 7-6 (2), 6-0, 6-2.
French Hopes Crushed
Wawrinka eliminated all French hopes after defeating the always entertaining Monfils, showman supreme, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 6-2. Wawrinka is Swiss-French, so I guess he kind of counts, right? Wawrinka’s booming baseline attack and marvelous one handed backhand powered him past the sheer athleticism and defense of Monfils, putting him into the fourth round of Roland Garros.
Stanimal Neutralizes Cilic Serve
Coming into this quarterfinal, Cilic had been on fire, losing the second least games of any player, just 28. Cilic’s booming serve wasn’t enough, and Wawrinka picked the Croatian’s game apart piece by piece, demolishing him 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. It was a clinical performance and perhaps the first sighting of the Stanimal himself.
Murray? No Problem
Well, it might have been a bit harder than that. Murray won the first set in a tough tiebreak, but Stan didn’t crumble. He rebounded right back, punishing any short balls and ensuring that the match wouldn’t be that easy for the world number one. Murray. Wawrinka. At two sets a piece, it was time.
Unleashing his inner Stanimal, otherwise known as the greatest presence to ever grace the sport of tennis, we saw Wawrinka shatter Murray’s tremendous defense, running him from side to side with a series of punishing groundstrokes and a stellar one handed backhand. It was truly a sight to behold. Victory Stan: 6-7 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-1.
Wawrinka is through to his fourth grand slam final. Judging on previous results, he seems pretty good at these things. Let’s see if the Stanimal stays awake against Rafa. He’ll need to if he wants a chance to match Murray’s total of four grand slam titles.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the French Open final!