Stan Wawrinka - Wimbledon 2023

Stan Wawrinka gearing up for ‘big challenge’ against Novak Djokovic

Stan Wawrinka has reached the third round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2015, and the Swiss is now gearing up to play against a very familiar face on Centre Court.

Wawrinka reached the third round by beating Tomas Martin Etcheverry, 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-2, to follow on from his straight sets triumph over Emil Ruusuvuori.

The former No.3 has won a Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open, but has never surpassed the quarter-final stage at Wimbledon.

However, the 38-year-old appears to be embracing his time at SW19 this year, as he approaches the latter stages of his career, “I’m trying to work as hard as possible and to enjoy at the same time. It’s hopefully not my last, but I’m getting close to that. I want to keep pushing myself, trying to play my best game, enjoying be back. It’s always so special.”

After his match, Wawrinka learnt that his third round match would be a 27th meeting with Novak Djokovic to which he jokingly responded, “Don’t tell me the score!”

Despite their rivalry over the years, this will be the first time that the pair play each other on the grass where Djokovic has been so dominant over the years.

“I will enjoy [it] if I don’t get killed!” exclaimed Wawrinka. “But of course, he’s been an amazing champion to watch. The way he’s playing, it’s always special.

“We never played on grass and I’m quite happy to have the chance to play him on grass at least one time before I finish playing. It’s going to be a big challenge. Hopefully I can play at a higher level and be competitive in the match. I’m going to, like I always did against him, try to push to the maximum and we will see what happens.”

Wawrinka will take on Djokovic in the last match of an exciting day ahead on Centre Court today.

Stan Wawrinka vs Novak Djokovic head-to-head

Although Djokovic has the overwhelming lead over Wawrinka in their head-to-head, it is much more even when it comes to the major tournaments, that includes two Grand Slam finals.

Wawrinka vs Djokovic Overall: 6-20

Wawrinka vs Djokovic at Grand Slams: 4-4

Most recent meeting: Djokovic beat Wawrinka, 6-2 6-2 (Italian Open 2022)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.