I don’t really stand a chance – Stan Wawrinka on facing Novak Djokovic

I don’t really stand a chance – Stan Wawrinka on facing Novak Djokovic

Stan Wawrinka rates his chances of winning Wimbledon as “zero” but can complete a notable set by knocking out his old rival Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon.

Wawrinka, 38, defeated 29th seed Tomas Etcheverry 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-2 to reach the last 32 at the All England Club for the first time since 2015.

The Swiss veteran has won only six of his 26 previous meetings but two of those came in grand slam finals, at the French Open in 2015 and the US Open the following year, while he has also beaten him at the Australian Open.

Wawrinka is finally back in the top 100 after years spent trying to battle back from knee and foot surgeries, and he was determined to play down his chances against Djokovic.

“There’s zero opportunity to win Wimbledon for me, I think,” he said. “I’m happy to have won today again. I think it was a great match. I’m playing better each match and I think it’s an honour to play Novak here.

“I was missing that on my career to play him in the grand slam in Wimbledon. It’s going to be a difficult challenge. Hopefully I can make a competitive match, but, if you will look at recent results, I don’t really stand a chance.”

Asked if he believes he can beat Djokovic, Wawrinka said with a smile: “I don’t know. I have to be on the court, play my best tennis and like I did in the past, but right now it’s been a long time I didn’t play at that level.

“He’s the perfect player. If you look, everything is so clean. He plays the perfect shot in the right moment. I love to watch him play, as much as I was loving to watch Roger (Federer) play. He’s serving amazing, he’s returning everything. He can do everything.

“I like to watch tennis. So I’m going to be playing tomorrow and then watching the rest of the tournament.”

While Wawrinka insisted his last comment was a joke, it will suit him to pile all the pressure on Djokovic for the clash of the veterans.

The match will be the oldest combined age for a men’s singles match at Wimbledon since Ken Rosewall faced Barry Phillips-Moore in 1974.

Djokovic, 36, is now on a 30-match winning streak at Wimbledon and will be a big favourite but he will be wary of the power of Wawrinka.

“He took away two grand slams from me,” said the seven-time Wimbledon champion.

“After several surgeries of his knees, he keeps going strong and trying to create some more history for himself and tennis. We cannot forget that he’s a three-time grand slam champion and Davis Cup winner and also Olympic gold. He had a fantastic career.

“One of the nicest one-handed backhands that I have ever played against, ever seen. Very powerful player. Very strong. Very complete. He can play equally well on all surfaces.”