The Swiss says he's feeling better than ever on the surface.
Stan Wawrinka isn’t exactly known for his grass prowess, but the two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist isn’t exactly a slouch on the surface either. That said, he hasn’t been past the second round at Wimbledon since 2015.
But a few years removed from his double knee surgery, Wawrinka could be ready to make some big strides on grass. The World No.19 eased past Ruben Bemelmans in straight sets on Monday to book a second-round clash with American Reilly Opelka.
Afterwards Wawrinka talked about the subtle adaptations he has to make in order to become a better player on the grass.
“I think it's more adaptation,” he said. “You need to make quicker decision on the grass. You need to play not more risky, but you cannot just take your time like I can do on the clay court, really put my shot there, make some long rallies.”
Wawrinka, who has hired Dani Vallverdu to work alongside his longtime coach Magnus Norman for the grass season, says that part of the process is accepting that things move faster on the grass.
“You need to accept and get through the frustration of going a little bit against my [normal] style or the way I want to play,” he said. “That's the little things we are doing. There is some small exercise for the technique, for the games that you play more on the grass court.”
He added: “At the end of the day, it's not a lot of big change technique-wise,” he said. “It's just about the way or the shot selection you are taking on the grass court.”
Wimbledon is the only major that Wawrinka has yet to win, but he believes he can be headed for a deep run in 2019.
“I do believe that this year I'm playing well, I playing the best I ever played on grass court. For sure I am having a tough next match. Every match is difficult. I can go out the next round. But I believe if I enter the court, I can beat anybody.”