'Sergeant Stan' Relishing Captain's Position At United Cup


Enthusiasts are used to seeing Stan Wawrinka within the highlight. Years of bludgeoning one-handed backhands and lifting trophies on tennis’ largest phases will do this.

However this week the 37-year-old has proven enthusiasts a special facet. ‘Stan The Guy’ has advanced into ‘Captain Stan’ as Switzerland’s taking part in captain in Brisbane on the inaugural United Cup.

“He turns out in point of fact strict,” workforce member Jil Teichmann mentioned on Media Day, cracking amusing. “Like, choosy.”

It didn’t take lengthy for the three-time primary winner to put down the regulation.

“I am taking part in being in point of fact strict in opposition to any individual who was once overdue these days,” Wawrinka mentioned because the workforce erupted into laughter. “We’re sorry, it was once Belinda [Bencic]. It is going to be the remaining time we are going to be overdue!”

Despite the fact that Wawrinka spoke like ‘Sergeant Stan’ reasonably than ‘Captain Stan’, the truth is that the Swiss legend has embraced his function and has created a familial setting that has his nation in competition in Brisbane. If Switzerland defeats Poland on Tuesday, it is going to advance to the Brisbane Town Ultimate.

Wawrinka has been visibly invested in all of his teammate’s suits, repeatedly status from his bench within the Crew Zone to induce them on throughout suits.

“Ways-wise, clearly he sees the sport and the entirety,” Bencic mentioned. “But in addition, he was once in point of fact sure and prefer [fist] pumping each and every level. I feel that is the way it will have to be. I think like we have been used to one another in no time.”

United Cup
Picture Credit score: Tennis Australia
“To have Stan at the bench it is very particular. I thanked him prior to already,” Teichmann mentioned. “I advised him it is in point of fact great to have him there. He in point of fact helps to keep you calm, he is in point of fact just right, will provide you with those sensible pointers.”

The 37-year-old mentioned that he’s “in point of fact proud” that he was once decided on captain of the workforce. Despite the fact that he performed down how a lot he is in a position to lend a hand the gamers throughout suits, he has undoubtedly attempted.

“It is a new revel in evidently. As I say, I feel it’ll be in point of fact attention-grabbing to look at them play from the courtroom, communicate with them. On the finish of the day all of them know what to do,” Wawrinka mentioned. “They’re nice gamers, they understand how to win. I am simply going to be right here if they want extra lend a hand.”

The Swiss has visibly loved digging into the small main points of suits. Probably the most commonplace scenes within Pat Rafter Area has been Wawrinka along with his arms on his knees or in a crouch in his Crew Zone throughout changeovers, diving right into a dialogue with a participant like a professor.

Between that and the sentiments he confirmed throughout his singles win in opposition to Alexander Bublik in Switzerland’s opening tie, it’s abundantly transparent Wawrinka loves the game and all that incorporates it.

“I really like the emotion that I will get. I am positive the day I can prevent taking part in tennis I can by no means in finding that emotion anymore,” Wawrinka mentioned. “Then I really like the sport, the contest, to compete, I really like the method to get there. Although it is difficult, despite the fact that it’s a must to push your self, daily I feel it is one thing I in point of fact revel in, to support, to be at my easiest, and to compete on the easiest degree.”


Wawrinka’s teammates grew up looking at him compete on the best of the tennis international. But even so Wawrinka, the oldest participant at the workforce is Alexander Ritschard, who’s 28. When Stan claimed his first primary trophy on the 2014 Australian Open, Ritschard was once 20. Now, the taking part in has empowered Ritschard, making him appearing captain throughout Wawrinka’s personal fit.

The workforce has seemed as much as Wawrinka for years, as the previous Global No. 3 is a countrywide icon. At the side of Roger Federer, he led Switzerland to Davis Cup glory in 2014. That second continues to be engrained in Marc-Andrea Huesler’s reminiscence.

“I watched the entire doubles there and I used to be amazed via how they each have been taking part in, how they competed themselves and the entire power in that stadium was once beautiful superb,” Huesler mentioned. “And in addition I’d most likely even say I noticed Stan play easiest of 5 suits in Australia in opposition to Novak, dropping the primary couple after which having the ability to win. Whole epic suits, additionally in Paris, the finals of Paris was once completely insane the way in which he was once taking part in.

“The ones reminiscences, whilst you see that, the ones are the largest [memories] that I’ve of him. I haven’t practised with him that continuously prior to now, however he’s a really perfect man and it’s additionally cool to be sharing this workforce with him and looking to principally win in combination.”

On a week-to-week foundation, Wawrinka is in a position to center of attention on himself. However his trainer, former Global No. 2 Magnus Norman, sees how a lot his price is taking part in main his nation’s workforce on the United Cup.

“I will see that Stan in point of fact likes it. He likes workforce occasions and the place he’s at the moment in his profession I feel additionally it’s one thing new, it’s one thing other,” Norman mentioned. “While you’ve been at the Excursion for goodbye it’s all the time the similar tournaments. The Excursion is astounding, however it’s all the time the similar, so in the event you do one thing new, it makes the entirety a little bit bit extra contemporary, so I in point of fact really feel that he enjoys it so much.”

In entrance of the click, the workforce joked about ‘Strict Stan’. However past that facade has been a worrying, devoted chief. Who’s stricter, Norman as Wawrinka’s trainer or Captain Stan?

“I don’t know, it’s difficult to reply to,” Norman mentioned, cracking amusing. “However I feel I’m perhaps a little bit bit extra strict as a trainer.”



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