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Wawrinka’s Grand Slam dream not certain to be over for the year

| 30.01.2014

Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka fully deserved his maiden major title and by earning a new ranking of world number three his chances of adding another this season have greatly improved.

Anyone ranked outside of the top-four have the odds stacked against them from the outset, something that the new Swiss number one has endured numerous times in the second week of the Majors.

Last year at the US Open he had to beat Tomas Berdych, then Andy Murray before succumbing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. He has had to face the Serb (world number one at the time) in the round-of-16 at the Australian Open and at Flushing Meadows in 2012 as well.

In his best run at the French Open last year he had to overcome Richard Gasquet in the round-of-16 before facing Rafael Nadal in his first quarter-final at Rolland Garros.

Those nightmare draws will now be a thing of the past if the 28-year-old can maintain his ranking as he won’t have to face any of the main three until at least the last-four.

Wawrinka is 1/10 not to claim any more Grand Slam glory this season which is fair enough, not just because of how difficult actually winning the matches will be but also factoring in the often negative effects that come as a consequence of making a major breakthrough – especially when it is not entirely expected.

However, his recent record both in Paris and New York make the 6/1 about the popular right-hander claiming one more trophy at the highest level at least something to consider.

Wawrinka has bombed out of Wimbledon in the first round from his last two attempts so pinning any hopes on a dream run at SW19 are fanciful.

At the US Open though Wawrinka reached the semi-finals last year and the round-of-16 in 2012, only to be defeated by the world number one, so with a clearer passage another deep run is not out of the question.

Wawrinka has also shown enough form on the clay to think that he could challenge at the French Open, as he won in Oeiras before reaching the final in Madrid and then the quarter-finals in Paris last year only to be undone both times by a rampant Nadal.

Again, if his ranking was preserved a better draw for both Slams would follow and now that his temperament under the most testing examination a player can sit has been passed fit there is no reason why he shouldn’t be challenging and potentially winning again soon.

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Sam Foster