Stan Wawrinka was borne in Lausanne, Switzerland, about an hour’s drive from Geneva. So, it’s only fitting that the Swiss star has enjoyed a love affair with the city’s ATP 250 tennis tournament.
Wawrinka made his first ATP Tour final at home in 2005, when he advanced to the Gstaad final. But it took him 11 years to make another championship match in Switzerland, and that came at the 2016 Geneva Open.
Then 31, Wawrinka arrived in Geneva searching for form. He had lost three of his previous four matches entering the tournament.
But the home favourite, who was World No. 4, lost only six games in his first two matches against strong clay-court players Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Pablo Carreno Busta, respectively, and he didn’t look back. After outlasting Lukas Rosol in a three-set semi-final, Wawrinka defeated then-World No. 11 Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-6(11) to capture his first ATP Tour trophy in Switzerland.
“It’s a dream come true to be able to win a title in Switzerland, after all these tournaments,” Wawrinka said. “To be able to do it here in Geneva, in the event’s second year, is something special. The fans were great. They made a lot of noise today.”
The stands at the Tennis Club de Geneve Eaux-Vives were completely packed. When Cilic missed a final backhand long, everyone rose to their feet in celebration after their man won a hard-fought final.
“Marin is a great player,” Wawrinka said. “He really ramped up the pressure toward the end, with those set points, so it was nice to be able to finish off the match.”
Wawrinka wasted little time winning another tour-level title in Switzerland, retaining his trophy the following year in Geneva.
Once again, the Swiss arrived at the tournament having lost three of his previous four matches. But Wawrinka was inspired by his home fans and one extremely special fan: his daughter, Alexia. He beat Mischa Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
“I’m extremely happy to win my second title in Switzerland. It means a lot to me,” Wawrinka said. “This is the first time that my daughter is in the stadium when I won a title, and that makes it even more special.”
Did You Know?
Wawrinka also enjoyed success in Geneva on the ATP Challenger Tour. He earned two of his six titles at that level in Geneva, triumphing in 2003 and 2004.