Wawrinka dubbed 'Stan the man' of Geneva Open
Swiss tennis star Stan Wawrinka brushed aside his recent problems on — and off — the court at a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday to highlight his appearance as the top-ranked player at next month’s Geneva Open tournament.
Wawrinka, 30, has just come off three disappointing tournaments and a fractious separation from his wife, Ilham Wawrinka, after they lived together for ten years and with whom he has a five-year-old daughter.
The Lausanne native, now ranked tenth in the world, will join Croatian Marin Cilic, 2014 US Open champion, as a headliner at the ATP Geneva tournament set for May 17th-23rd.
“I am not going to either panic or change now,” he said in Geneva, according to a report from the Tribune de Genève.
“Certainly, I have had setbacks in three tournaments, but that is only exactly three bad tournaments in a year,” he said.
“It’s no reason to get all upset.”
Wawrinka posed with a t-shirt bearing a superman logo and the words “Stan the man of the Geneva Open”.
This year will mark the first time he has played in the tournament and he has signed up to appear for three years.
The 2014 Australian Open champion acknowledged that the date of the competition, coming just ahead of the French Open, was not ideal “but I have organized my calendar to fit with this week”.
The Lausanne native did not comment about his domestic troubles.
“I am maintaining my line of conduct,” he said, although this was a reference to his tennis playing.
Wawrinka on Sunday issued a statement on his Facebook page in which he said he was splitting with his partner for a second time, citing “the challenges we have faced due to the demands of my career”.
But Ilham Wawrinka, a former Swiss TV presenter, issued a statement to media on Monday in which she said his “repeated lies” and his “infidelities” had “destroyed all the trust that I had in him”.
She said it was intolerable that their separation would be used to explain Wawrinka’s recent poor results and to serve the image of a father “who remains . . . insensitive to the suffering of his daughter affected by the circumstances of our separation”.
She said the couple had in fact been separated for five months, following the “triumphant” Davis Cup victory of the Swiss men’s tennis team, of which Wawrinka was a member, and that this did not stop him from going on to win the Chennai Open.
Wawrinka said at the end of his statement that he did not wish to comment further about his breakup.
“I hope that the fans and the media will understand,” he said, “that I’ve always been very protective of my private life and wish to continue to do so not giving any further information about the situation."