“Extraordinary Champions”: Stan Wawrinka Reveals Special Rapport with Rafael Nadal Amongst the Big Three

Published 12/27/2020, 10:00 AM EST
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


Tennis’ greatest assets, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer have thrilled fans over the years. Their capability to produce such a unique quality of tennis is what separates them from the rest of the players on tour. The ability of the Big Three to produce a normal shot itself is exquisite. 

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Speaking of Rafa, his statistics on a clay court speak volumes. Nadal has won the French Open for a record 13 times. He’s also won 11 titles at the Monte Carlo Masters along with 11 titles at the Barcelona Open. He’s also captured nine titles at the Rome Masters. 

Recently, Stan Wawrinka elaborated on his rapport with Rafa. The two of them have had great matches over the years, including one at a grand slam final. Stan said, “I often train with him. His 13 victories at Roland Garros constitute one of the greatest achievements in the history of the sport.”

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LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 21: (L-R) Andy Murray of Great Britain, Novak Djokovic of Siberia, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain attend a ceremony for Carlos Moya’s retirement during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Wawrinka: Fortunate to have Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic

Besides Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have also carried the sport for well over a decade. Wawrinka and Federer both hail from Switzerland. The two of them have a great relationship and have enjoyed success together, winning at the Davis Cup and the Olympic Games. Stan also has a healthy relationship with the Serb and has had intense matches at the majors. 

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Reflecting on his overall association with the big 3, Wawrinka stated, “With Rafa, Roger and Novak, the big three, our era is fortunate to have three extraordinary champions at the same time.”

Many would agree with Stan. To have three players in the same era going after each other in their mid-30s in commendable. After all these years, Rafa has caught up with Roger and is tied at 20 majors with him. Djokovic is on 17 slams and certainly looks to extend those numbers. Given his supreme physicality, one cannot count the Serbian machine of anytime soon. 

The courts at Melbourne Park will host the three of them at the Australian Open 2021, beginning in February next year.  

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Rohan Kollare

591 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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