Stan Wawrinka, “The Other Guy”

This is a little tale of Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka, from the Summer of ’12. Do not fret over the title, “Stan the Man” fans, for despite a few trials and tribulations, this story has plenty of pretty pictures (click for BIG versions!) and a happy ending.

After this, check out: Australian Open Champion, Stanislas Wawrinka: Pics, Quotes, and Love from the Players … and … Twitter Reacts to #Stanimal Victory Over the Djoker!!!

Stan is currently #17 in the world, with three career titles and a career high ranking of #9. At Roger Federer’s first practice session at the Cincinnati Open, however, Stan may as well have been The Invisible Man. Sure, the Grand-Slam-maestro is a big draw, but J.D. and I expected that at least some of the tennis fans who shell out the big bucks to visit a tournament would have a passing interest in the Top 20.

At first it didn’t seem so. Six feet away from a damn fine tennis player and all eyes are elsewhere.

Stanislas Wawrinka Cincinnati Masters backhand green Yonex tee-shirt red shiny shoes Sev

You can always tell when the crowd has no clue who someone is–they all stare at you when you start taking pictures, wondering why your camera is aimed at “the other guy.” I recommend to you right now, newbie tennis fans–always take pictures of that dude across the net. Three months from now when you actually realize who he is, you’re gonna be thrilled that you’ve got all these pics from when he was cranking forehands right in front of you.

Stanislas Wawrinka Cincinnati Masters Roger Federer smile screencaps images photos pictures by TennisInsideOut.com

Stan and Roger do spend a lot of time in each other’s company, often practicing together and even, you know, winning doubles gold together in 2008. Ringing any bells, people? No? Really? You’re a Fed fan and don’t remember this?:

Okay, fine, four years is a long time ago. Perhaps you were still in grammar school. Or studying for SATs. Or being held at an undisclosed location for questioning by Homeland Security. Still, J.D. and I expected the assembled crowd’s memory to extend back a few weeks, to the 2012 Olympics that had just occurred. Where Stan and Rog played doubles. Again. No?

Never mind. We’ll just sit here and watch Stan practice, working up a sweat and doing his damnedest to make Fed miss.

Stan Wawrinka green yonex shirt Roger white net Cincinnati Western and Southern Open pictures photos images

Sometimes he succeeded. Throughout the vigorous workout, an older gentleman behind us was giving an extensive Federer Tennis lesson to the children assembled around him. He lavished praise on Fed’s form, technique, how he set up shots, how he added spin, and how he was just generally Awesome. Of course the impromptu lesson acknowledged that the Swiss Maestro wasn’t playing against a backboard. He had some very nice rallies, in fact, with “the other fella.”

Stanislas Wawrinka Cincinnati Open Sev Luthi Roger Federer practice court pictures photos images

That other fella drew ire from young Fed fans, however, as he and Sev double-teamed Rog for some intensive practice. Their hysteria over the unfairness of it all cooled later when Rog returned the favor by teaming up with Sev against Stan. And lo and behold, a young man in the crowd finally spoke Stan’s name aloud. He mispronounced it, but hey, he enlightened those around him, so let’s not quibble over small details.

Especially since peeps on our side of the court finally got excited that the dude right in front of them was actually Somebody. Somebody with quite a nice one-handed backhand, in fact.

Stan Wawrinka one handed backhand BH practice shorts bulge pretty pictures photos Cincy tennis 2012

Someone who, on closer inspection, had an adorable warpaint effect going on with his sunscreen.

Stanley Wawrinka Stanislas photos Western and Southern Open sunscreen sweaty shirt cheeks racquet pictures images

But let’s get back to that backhand. One of the joys of Stan’s game is that his one-hander is actually quite lethal, as he’s able to put a hell of a lot of power into it for winners. Even Fed agreed in a recent interview that Stan has the better backhand.

Stan Wawrinka one hander backhand crouch dig Cincinnati Open picturesStan Wawrinka yellow shirt backhand full extension Western and Southern Open 2012 photos

Love it the most when he’s airborne…

Cincinnati Open Stan Wawrinka flying backhand airborne BH yellow shirt Grandstand court 2012

We’re not sure what happened here… ;)

Stan Wawrinka crazy kick backhand Cincinnati Open tennis black kit red shoes photos pictures images

The forehand is not too shabby either. In Cincinnati Stan was in top form, playing aggressively and working every inch of the court to take out Matthieu, Nishikori, Raonic, and Ferrer. Seriously, the dude was on fire. And with each match the Stan love grew, as his current fans turned up in packs to cheer him on, and he earned new ones with his exciting level of play–particularly the gutsy fight in his 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Milos.

Western and Southern Open Stanislas Wawrinka Stan stretch running forehand photos pictures

Stan airborne forehand Western and Southern Open Cincinnati Masters 2012 Grandstand court photos pictures images

Stan Wawrinka airborne forehand follow through Cincinnati tennis shiny shoes pictures images photosStan is now wondering WTF I am taking 1500 pictures of…

Stanislas Wawrinka WTF face stare Cincinnati tennis photos picturesWell, it’s your backhand, your forehand, your serve…

Stan service toss serve motionStan serve motion

Stan serveStan serve

and I must confess…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA…your ass. Like with Rafa, one can not do a complete Stan photo post without addressing his curves. J.D. is covering his eyes and ears and singing “La la la” right now, so I can show off these two as well…

Stanislas Stan Wawrinka ass bum butt backside pictures photos black shorts kit red shiny shoes CincinnatiStan gorgeous bum Wawrinka butt ass behind return of serve Grandstand court CincinnatiHubba. I even caught Fed looking.

Roger Federer looking at checking out Stan Wawrinka ass butt bum backside naked screencaps images pictures photosAhem. Okay, back to the tennis. (J.D., you can open your eyes.) Now we are at Stan’s final challenge in Cincinnati. Facing the Fed-meister in the semifinal.

Stan Wawrinka Federer match semifinal Cincinnati photos pictures images forehand yellow black kit 2012Cincinnati Wawrinka Federer semifinal match flying backhand Western and Southern Open 2012 pictures photos images pics

This match had the crowd going crazy. Stan pushed Federer to a first set tiebreaker, and the tennis was amazing. You could see the two of them totally poking at each other, running each other around the court, digging out those weaknesses that longtime friends can always find in each other. It’s rare to see someone sprinting in a direction while Fed’s barely into his service motion…and choosing correctly.

After yet another of Stan’s searing winners blew his hair back, you could see Fed rolling his shoulders back with an “It’s so on,” look across the court. He pushed back hard, and it was exhilarating watching the guys battle it out on each and every point, glorious one-handers slicing and spinning the ball back and forth across the net. The majority of the crowd was cheering both players on, and we were sorry that we couldn’t get three sets of this incredible play. Fed got that little edge over Stan in the TB and took the match in two, 7-6(4), 6-3.

Stanislas Stan Wawrinka Roger Rog Federer smoosh handshake net Cincinnati Western and Southern Open semifinal photos pictures images

From behind us, a girl leaned forward in her seat for a better look. “I don’t think Federer is good-looking,” she announced to her family and friends. Then, with obvious interest in her voice, she asked, “Who’s the other guy?”

Stan Wawrinka victory fist pump yes yellow turquoise teal black kit red racquet photos pictures Cincinnati Open images pics

“Yesssssss!!!”

You might also enjoy: Twitter Reacts to #Stanimal Victory Over the DjokerStan the Man Wawrinka: US Open Semifinalist, in Pictures and Stanislas Wawrinka at Australian Open 2013: Story in Pictures

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PHOTOS: Stan Wawrinka, Roger Federer at Cincinnati Masters, c2012 Valerie David of TennisInsideOut.com.

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8 thoughts on “Stan Wawrinka, “The Other Guy”

  1. My teenage daughter and I are in the background of one of your practice photos. We headed over to that court to watch Federer and were thrilled when we saw that Stan was practicing with him. No one sitting around us seemed to know who he was either but he is one of our favorite tennis players.

    • Thanks for dropping by, Jennifer! It seemed like earlier in the week people didn’t know Stan, and I’m glad we weren’t the only ones who thought that was weird. It’s nice to know that more of his fans were there at the practice sessions; we always love it when we get to see the Swiss guys play together. I hope you got to see Stan play some of his matches, too, he had a phenomenal week!

  2. LOVED this report — especially the advice to newbie fans. An online acquaintance started cheering for Jeremy Chardy after seeing my snapshots of him at Memphis 2010. :-)

    I happened to be in Geneva when Stan lost early in Stockholm in 2011, and saw the news in three papers — which all drew from the same wire report, but had different headlines/excerpts (my favorite was “Exit through a tiny door”). It was fun to read of him as the local player (admittedly in part to glimpse how another country’s journalists choose to report disappointing results).

    Part of me wants to see Stan and Benoit wreak havoc together in doubles — but Stan is also on my fantasy tennis team, so another part of me wants him to stay focused on singles and wreak havoc on everyone else’s bracket. ;-)

    • Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed our Stan story. Chardy is one of those guys that kinda flies under the radar too. It’s great that your photos landed him a new fan.

      That is interesting, too, about the Swiss perspective of Stan. I think a lot of times countries are harder on their own players, when you think it would be the opposite. I’m always shocked that Federer’s own website prints some really unflattering summaries of his losses…hah.

      I love the Wawaire doubles pairing, but I don’t want to see Stan give up on singles yet. So I’m voting for wreaking havoc on everyone else’s bracket. ;)

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