Stan Wawrinka’s shot at becoming World No. 1 at Wimbledon ended early and in disappointing fashion at The Championships Monday. The 32-year-old Swiss, who came into the tournament nursing a left knee injury, was below his physical best in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 loss to #NextGenATP Russian Daniil Medvedev.
The defeat followed a first-round exit at Queen’s two weeks ago. Wawrinka said that after a strong run to the Roland Garros final last month, his grass-court season was hindered by his left knee, which he iced during Monday’s loss to the 21-year-old.
“For sure it was two bad grass court tournaments for me,” said Wawrinka, who was also chasing a career Grand Slam at Wimbledon, where he reached the quarter-finals in 2014 and ‘15. “I’ve had some problems with the knee since Queen’s, so it was not the way I wanted to get ready for this tournament. Today was tough. I was expecting to feel a little bit better. When I play a player of that level, it’s difficult to win. He went for it, was playing well, so it was a tough, tough day.”
The three-time Grand Slam champion said that he had been living with the injury for many months. “It’s not something new, but something I had in the past; the end of last year and also in Australia. Since I’ve had that problem, it’s the first time I’m playing on grass. Apparently, grass is not the best surface for my knee. I need to figure it out exactly what’s the problem now, what I’m going to do, and come back on the tennis court when I will be without any pain.”
Wawrinka, who is at a career-high No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, said that he was unsure of his immediate plans.
“I was expecting [to be feeling better] in the two weeks between the first loss in Queen’s and now. But it was not enough [time]. I need to really see with my team, with my doctor, when I come back home. What’s sure is that I’m going to take the time I need to feel ready again physically.”
Despite being below his best, Wawrinka paid tribute to the 6’ 6” Medvedev. “He’s a really good player, that’s for sure. I was expecting a tough match. Saw him playing last couple of weeks on grass. He’s playing really well on grass. He’s playing a fast and flat ball. He’s moving quite good. He loves the grass to play his game. Yeah, he’s a really dangerous player.”