The wait until his clash with Rafael Nadal on Sunday must be killing Stanislas Wawrinka.
The way the ruthless Nadal hammered fellow great of the game Roger Federer on Friday will have made painful viewing. Prayers for a miracle, for a triumph over a man with 13 Grand Slam titles will no doubt have begun to be said.
Yet Wawrinka will know that if, somehow, he beats the world number one, more slams may follow.
History has shown us that once the first Slam title is won, more follow. It breaks the physiological wall of fear and replaces the inferiority complex with one of superiority. There is a sense that anything could happen. You become a name to be reckoned with.
Which is why Wawrinka should look at his opponent on Sunday with feelings of inspiration rather than dejection.
Afterall, every legend of the game has started the same. With a maiden title, often as an underdog. Rafael Nadal’s breakthrough came on the clay courts of Paris in 2005, a gladiatorial arena he has come to rule ever since.
He has also triumphed at Wimbledon, the US Open and won an Australian Open in 2009. He is the complete player, a threat on all courts and powerful on all surfaces.
It is a feat Wawrinka should look to emulate, instead of spectate.
Novak Djokovic won his first Slam in Australia and he proceeded to win five more. Only the French is missing from his collection.
And since Andy Murray’s 2012 US Open win he has won Wimbledon, ending Britain’s 77 year long wait for a winner and banishing the ghost of Fred Perry in the process.
Despite Federer, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic dominating the scene, Wawrinka can win to force a breakthrough. Juan Martin Del Potro won the 2009 US Open, and remains the only player outside of the quadruple to have won a Slam since 2005.
With Federer on the decline and Nadal often a victim to an injury, there is a gap opening in men’s tennis.
Wawrinka has had an outstanding tournament and looked classy yet unfazed throughout.
But it will not be enough if he falls at the final hurdle.
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