Veteran Swiss tennis star Stan Wawrinka has shared a post on Instagram which bears a tell-tale hint of how much he looks forward to the five hours of practice every day ahead of the Australian Open.
All players who have arrived Down Under for the year’s first Grand Slam are under strict quarantine after setting foot in the country.
The protocol laid down by the government of Victoria, the host state, stipulates that all players have to observe two weeks of hard quarantine during which they won’t be allowed to go anywhere apart from their hotel rooms and training/practice facilities.
While the players have submitted to the rules, it’s the five hours of practice that they look most forward to every day as it gives them their only chance to step outdoors. And, as is fairly evident from his post, the three-time Grand Slam winning Swiss isn’t an exception to this.
Wawrinka, who finished the last season with a string of underwhelming performances, has been drawn to practice with rising Argentine tennis star Diego Schwartzman ahead of the Australian Open.
His post does have a reference to the Argentine, indicating that it’s the only time of day that both players look forward to. The post is tagged with a message that reads, “You ready @dieschwartzman? Let’s do this.”
The Argentine promptly replied to the post, saying, “Ready Stan, let’s go.”
His post also has the details of the training schedule – taking the ‘Practice’ lift from the hotel rooms at the Grand Hyatt and reaching Melbourne Park for a two-hour knockabout, heading to the gym for a rigorous workout, and knocking back some refreshments at the Nutrition bay before heading back to their rooms.
In the twilight of his career, Wawrinka, or ‘Stanman’ as he is nicknamed, would be desperate to tuck another Grand Slam title under his belt before he finally bows out.
With his more illustrious country mate Roger Federer withdrawing from the event this year, citing lack of fitness, the onus is on Wawrinka to keep the Swiss flag flying at the Australian Open.