The story of an inconsistent three time Grand Slam champion

by Sanket Shah
The story of an inconsistent three time Grand Slam champion

Come Wimbledon, Stan Wawrinka will play at the all England tennis association with a quest to become only the fifth man in the open era after Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to win all the four grandslams.

To join a list which has such the names of such heavy weights is an achievement in itself. However, when considered all the other records of Wawrinka with these great players, he lags too far behind. If there are two words which can summarise what Stanislas Wawrinka is, they are: lethal and unpredictable.

On his sunny days, Wawrinka will be hitting down the line single handed backhands flat and hard to his opponent's mind. And on other days, he'll put the same backhands into the bottom of the nett, or worse still, a foot behind the baseline.

When Stan Wawrinka first won the Australian open in 2014, defeating Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal en route his first grandslam title, many labelled the victory as a 'fluke' and the man as a 'one time wonder'. However, Wawrinka was always around the corner and he repeated his feat the next year on the red dirt in Paris, where he once again took the attack to his favourite opponent and the then world number one, Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic, who has been eluded of the one title in his illustrious career had to wait one more year to get his hands on the trophy. When everyone on the tennis scene started believing that Wawrinka was not a one slam wonder and was ready to give the big four a run for their money, he went on to lose to Richard Gasquet in their quarterfinal meeting at Wimbledon the same year.

He also fared poorly at the Cincinnati and Montreal masters and lost to an in form Roger Federer at Flushing meadows, New york. 2016 was also a rollercoaster ride for Stan as he began the year winning at his favourite hunting ground, Chennai.

Just when he was looking dangerous, he succumbed to Raonic in the fourth round at the Australian open and also had early exits at the sunshine masters. Come the last slam of the year, no one would have put their money on Wawrinka to take out Djokovic in the finals.

However, Stan rose like a Phoenix and bombarded the serb with his trademark backhands and mixed his shots to displace Djokovic. He once again, managed to surprise everybody and pocketed the last slam of the year. And just like the rest of his career cycle, Wawrinka made sure to have a terrible end to the season losing to unseeded and lower ranked players at the masters in Shanghai and Paris.

He also could not advance beyond the round robin stages at the 02 arena in London. Wawrinka, this week lost to Benoit Paire, a world number 52 player in three tough sets marking the first real upset at the Madrid masters. However, if we have learnt anything from our past experiences,we can expect Wawrinka to wake up from his slumber, step on the court, fire backhands from all round the corner and find himself with the trophy at the end of the second week of the tournament.

And then playing some gauche, heavy handed tennis to lose to unseeded players in the next tournaments. Stan Wawrinka will go on.