Stan Wawrinka earned a place in the quarter-finals in St. Petersburg after defeating Evgeny Donskoy in three sets. The three-time Grand Slam champion was back from disappointment at Roland Garros, where he was surprised by the French revelation Hugo Gaston.
Having easily won the first set, the Swiss had suffered from the variations and damping of the 19-year-old transalpine, who had exhausted him physically by winning 6-0 in the fifth set. 'Stanimal' has always had a great feeling with the Parisian Grand Slam, having won the title in the 2015 final over Novak Djokovic.
The Lausanne tennis player also reached the final in 2017, but a wild Rafael Nadal left him six games in a one-way final. The former World number 3 was keen to congratulate the Majorcan, fresh winner of the French Open for the 13th time in his career.
Wawrinka on the GOAT debate
“What [Rafael Nadal] is achieving so far in the French Open is one of the greatest achievements of any sports probably, winning 13-time [the] French Open. The way he’s doing it, it’s something amazing.
I had the chance to play him there [twice] at the French Open, always got killed, so I know how difficult it is to play him there,” Stan Wawrinka shared. Stan Wawrinka gave his insights regarding the GOAT debate, which has been persisting in the tennis world for over a decade now.
“And I think it’s always difficult to compare the Big Three, especially those amazing athletes, especially that they’re still playing, so we don’t know who the GOAT is right now. I think we will have to wait and see,” he added.
“I think we have to more enjoy that they’re still playing, they’re still doing something amazing for our sport in general, and that’s something that I like to watch. I like to watch them play and as long as they will play, I will enjoy that”.
The Djokovic-Nadal rivalry is one of the best in tennis, but it is Federer-Nadal that is destined to go down in history alongside Borg-McEnroe and Navratilova-Evert. The duo won 24 out of the 28 Slams between 2004 and 2010.
While the on-court rivalry between Nadal and Roger Federer is close, Fed, who sat out the French Open while recovering from knee surgery, wins in a walkover off the court. The Swiss tennis ace was the world’s highest-paid athlete for the 12 months ending June 1, with endorsement earnings of $100 million, four times what his rival Nadal made.