Veteran Swiss star Stan Wawrinka has lavished praise on 7th-ranked German Alexander Zverev, calling him ‘one of the best of his generation’.
Seeded 12th at the ongoing Rolex Paris Masters, Wawrinka lost in straight sets to Zverev in a quarter-final clash early Saturday.
Asked to comment on the German’s level of play and consistency across recent ATP events after his quarter-final exit, Wawrinka said, “For a very long time, you (media) have been a little hard on him.”
“He’s been in the Top-10 (in ATP rankings) for a few years now, in the Top-8, the Top-5. He’s proven that…he’s one of the very best of his generation. For me, it is the strongest (he has seen Zverev play). Here,” Wawrinka said.
“He’s a player who has been used to beating and winning tournaments every year for a few years now, and big tournaments (at that) against the best,” Wawrinka, who also goes by the nickname ‘Stan Man’ in the circuit, said.
Though Wawrinka tried to make a match of it, especially in the second set, Zverev didn’t let his skills and focus flag as he closed out the last-8 tie 6-3, 7-6.
The loss extended Wawrinka’s run of defeats against the German. He is yet to put one across Zverev in head-to-head clashes.
On whether Zverev’s swag of confidence and recent run of form makes him even harder to beat, Wawrinka said, “I’ve never beaten, for me that (Zverev’s recent run of wins) does not change much.”
“Today, I have the impression that it is the Zverev I’ve often played, whether in Australia (or) in the final of Saint-Pe, in Miami I believe,” Wawrinka said.
“It’s complicated, I’ve trouble finding solutions. As with every game, I have chances (against Zverev), I cannot achieve. It was complicated again today,” Wawrinka said.
Asked how he looks back on his season, Wawrinka said, “As I said since the start of the tournament, I’m happy to have been able to string together matches, especially at this level. To have played Top-10, to have beaten one, to see where I am, situate, to find this rhythm, to move on to this level.”
“Now I am going to go back to training and try to sharpen up for next year,” Wawrinka said.
(All quotes have been translated)