Roger Federer’s retirement boosting Stan Wawrinka at…

Stan Wawrinka has received a boost from the fans in Basel following Roger Federer’s retirement. The three-time Major champion got his biggest win in three years when he beat world No 3 Casper Ruud in the opening round, and confessed that his countryman’s absence earned him the most crowd support he’d ever experienced.

Wawrinka is currently ranked down at world No 194 following a lengthy layoff in 2021 that saw him undergo double foot surgery. The 37-year-old made his comeback earlier this year and has been gaining steam in recent weeks, defeating Daniil Medvedev in Metz before downing recent US Open finalist Ruud in his home tournament in Switzerland.

The former world No 3 needed just 78 minutes to upset the second seed 6-4 6-4 in Basel on Tuesday night, and has since confessed that he received the strongest crowd support of his career in the absence of his recently-retired countryman Federer. “I’ve never received so much support,” the 16-time title winner said afterwards.

“Emotions, energy and vibes – it surpassed anything I’ve ever experienced here. It’s surprising and fun at the same time.” With the Swiss Indoors being held for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic, Wawrinka thought that his first match on home soil in three years had something to do with the support, coupled with Federer’s recent retirement.

He continued: “Perhaps the audience also noticed that we have come to the end of a generation.” Swiss tennis already has some new stars, including 20-year-old Dominic Stricker who also won in straight sets on Tuesday.
Despite the emergence of the new, young stars following Federer’s retirement. Wawrinka made it clear that he wasn’t going anywhere in the near future. “When Stricker won, we saw that new players were emerging and that is important for Swiss tennis. But the truth is, I’m not leaving just yet,” he added.

And the crowd support was extra special for the home star on Tuesday, as it also marked the first time his daughter Alexia cheered him on from his box during a win. “For me it is important that she witnesses such successes. Unfortunately, life didn’t allow her to see me play more often,” Wawrinka said after dispatching Ruud.
“But I’m lucky and happy that she – and I too – can experience such games. She’s still growing, she’s already twelve years old and already understands a lot of things when it comes to my job.”

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