Stanislas and Roger’s Excellent Adventure
This match set a tone
Stanislas Wawrinka added Switzerland’s first Davis Cup title to a year that saw him win a first Grand Slam and a first Masters 1000 title. Roger Federer added an important missing piece to his unprecedented career. Stan and Roger also won Gold for Switzerland in doubles in 2008. They have done a lot for the Swiss in international competition. Stan has also helped his chances at entering the International Tennis Hall of Fame one day. He is probably not at the threshold yet, but this year ticked off 3 big boxes for admittance. Roger Federer capped a season that shed a lot of the doubts that surrounded his 2013 campaign. It is easy to see Roger playing through 2016 whereas one year ago I had my doubts. Roger enters 2015 one Australian Open title away from a return to the #1 ranking. The courts in Melbourne don’t compliment his game as well as grass does, but if he avoids Nole and Rafa, he’s a good bet to do damage. Stan made it to the second week of 3 majors this year and won one. He also played well at the World Tour Finals and in Davis Cup. In my mind he is more likely to win a major in 2015 than Andy Murray.
This match put them in position
One of the stories coming out of London was Stan and Roger having a confrontation after the match that involved Federer’s wife and Stan exchanging words during their semifinal match. Their doubles play and each contributing to 2 points for Switzerland likely put that non-story to bed. Still, they clashed on court at Wimbledon, at the 02, and at Monte Carlo. I think Stan knows that while he may never win 17, 14, or 7 majors that he can play with the big boys as a peer. That dust-up in London may be an outgrowth of Federer and Stan’s changing dynamic. Stan is no longer a junior partner in their friendship. Also, Roger and Stan contributed to a gold medal and Davis Cup sitting in the other’s trophy case. The two will respect each other for that, and I would guess be friends as well even if it means more big clashes in the next few years.
This match did it