Stan Wawrinka -66- (SUI) def Nicolas Jarry -43- (CHI)
Stan Wawrinka’s left knee had been screaming for mercy forever. Finally in 2017, after his 1st-Round Wimbledon loss to Daniil Medvedev -49- (RUS), Stan decided to listen. The MRI was gruesome, presenting two options:
- Call it a career as a 3-time Major Champion and retire as the World #3
- Or endure a pair of surgeries and attempt a second ascent of Everest
Both were shitty options, but Stan’s overwhelming need to compete and stubborn determination to always defy the odds led him straight to the surgeon’s blade. After reconstruction and rehabilitation, he made his return 6-months later at the 2018 Australian Open. He fell in the 2nd-Round to Tennys Sandgren -97- (USA).
Results got worse from there, but Stan remained determined to return to top-form. After a 1st-Round exit at Roland Garros – where he won the title 3-years prior – Stan’s ranking plummeted to World #263. Some began to write him off. Wawrinka knew that despite the results, he was very close to rediscovering his rhythm on the new hinge.
The grass season wasn’t any kinder, but there was a bright spot: A 1st-Round Wimbledon victory over World #6 Grigor Dimitrov. It sent a message – both to himself, and to the newly unintimidated he’d routinely trounced over the past decade. Big Match Stan was still able to compete with the best in the game.
On the hard courts, he earned wins over Nick Kyrgios -17-, Diego Schwartzman -12-, Kei Nishikori -23- and Karen Khachanov -24-. He earned enough victories to face nemeses Rafael Nadal -01- and Roger Federer -02- in back-to-back Masters events. At the US Open, he took out Dimitrov -08- again in the opening round. By the end of the season, he returned to the top-70 – just 6-months after falling outside the top-200.
In 2019, the Positive Momentum Continues
Wawrinka came into this year’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open as the World #66, barely high enough to sneak into the main draw without a Wild Card. On Monday, he won a tight 2-setter over the talk-of-the-tour and this year’s #3-seed Karen Khachanov -11-. It was a telling win for Wawrinka, considering Karen’s last match was a victory over Novak Djokovic to capture the Paris Masters title.
Insert Nicolas Jarry. Stan had never faced the surging Chilean before, but knew the World #43 and Laver Cup selection was brimming with confidence. Last year, 23-year-old Jarry reached his first Tour-level Final in Sao Paolo, made three additional Semifinal runs, and earned a pair of top-10 victories – including a win over World #6 Marin Cilic in Shanghai.
Tremendous results that were of no concern to Wawrinka. Jarry flinched first in the 5th game of set-1, and that single break carried Stan to victory.
Up next for Stan Warinka:  Roberto Bautista Agut -24- (ESP)
Round of 16 Biography | Stan Wawrinka -66- (SUI)
This 3-time Grand Slam Champion is back in Doha for the first time since 2008 – when as a 36th-ranked 22-year-old, he reached his 5th career ATP Final. 11-years-later, He’s now an Australian Open, Roland Garros and US Open Champion – An Olympic Doubles Gold Medalist – A Davis Cup Champion – Has been ranked as #3 in the World – And owns 16 Tour-level Titles in 28 career Finals. Yesterday, he eliminated the red-hot World #11 Karen Khachanov to reach today’s Round of 16 match. Competing in his 5th Qatar ExxonMobil Open, from Switzerland – please welcome Stan Wawrinka.
Round of 16 Biography | Nicolas Jarry -43- (CHI)
After capturing three ATP Challenger Tour Singles titles in 2017, this 23-year-old exploded onto the ATP Tour last year. He started 2018 ranked outside the top-100; and by November, cracked the top-40. He reached his first Tour-level Final in Sao Paolo, won his first Grand Slam match at Wimbledon, reached 3 additional Semifinals and earned his first career top-10 victory, defeating Dominic Thiem in the Hamburg Quarterfinals. In September, he was selected to represent Team World at Laver Cup, and went-on to earn the biggest win of his career, defeating World #6 Marin Cilic at the Shanghai Masters. Into the Round of 16 in his Qatar ExxonMobil Open debut, from Chile, please welcome Nicolas Jarry.
R1 def Robin Haase -50- (NED) 67(7) 64 76(4)