In the third round of the Australian Open, Stan Wawrinka faced the big-serving American, 20th seed Sam Querrey. A match with Querrey often means hanging on for dear life to your own serve, and doing a lot of standing with aces flying past you on his serve. You just have to ride it out and wait for your moments. Which is what Stan did, along with eventually figuring out how to get his racquet on quite a lot of those thundering Querrey serves. The Swiss player took the match in a straight-sets victory, 7-6(6) 7-5 6-4.
One of the most entertaining aspects of watching the match through ESPN’s online coverage was listening to the very pro-American commentators Jeff Tarango and Leif Shiras start gushing over Stan’s play not long into the match. First there was the amazement at a huge proportion of his shots landing just on, inside, or barely hugging the outside edge of the lines. Then the appreciation of all the power on his one-handed backhand, particularly considering the amount of heat Sam was throwing down with his forehand.
My own tweets mostly read like this:
@TennisInsideOut: Another big roar from Stan after a searing DTL pass. Up 30-15 on Sam’s serve.
@TennisInsideOut: STANNNN!! Damn. Nailbiter there. Stan in big trouble, hits some ridiculous line painters and a wicked angled volley to get the hold.
@TennisInsideOut: Good gravy. Stan is just…unfff…
@TennisInsideOut: ALLEZ!!!! Stan pumped as he comes back from 5 serve faults in a row to hold. Good boy.
Thankfully he ended with a little over 50% on serve, and when they went in, they were quite impressive. He ended with 13 aces (2 more than Querrey) and his fastest serve was 215kmh (Querrey’s was at 213kmh!). When that 1st serve successfully bounded down the T or slid off wide, he won 84% of the points.
All in all, Stan seemed to have a good game plan in mind and stuck to it throughout the match. Sam is strong, and a good volleyer, and kept pressing all the way to the end. These two had an over-four-and-a-half-hour 7-6(9), 6-7(5), 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 match at the USO in 2010, so it was good to see Stan make the right adjustments to close this out in three.
Some more screencaps from the match:
P.S. J.D. was at work when I posted this, and does not approve of that last photo.
You also might enjoy this photo story post… Stan Wawrinka: “The Other Guy”
PHOTOS: Screencaps, third round Australian Open 2013 match, Stanislas Wawrinka versus Sam Querrey, ESPN, fair use.