Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stan's Won Their Last Three but Says Andy Still Holds All the Aces

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stan's Won Their Last Three but Says Andy Still Holds All the Aces

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Newman in Paris

STAN WAWRINKA has won as many Grand Slam titles as Andy Murray, is the defending French Open champion and has beaten the Scot in their last three meetings but as he prepared for their semi-final showdown here tomorrow the 31-year-old Swiss insisted: "Andy is well ahead of me."

Success has come comparatively late for Wawrinka, who won both of his Grand Slam titles the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open after Murray claimed the second of his two at Wimbledon three summers ago.

Murray, nevertheless, is the more prolific champion. The world No2 has won 36 titles, including 12 at Masters 1000 level, which is the next tier down after the four Grand Slam events.

Wawrinka, the world No4, has won just 14 titles, including one Masters 1000 event.

"Now that I've won a second Grand Slam, people say I'm closer to him because I have won two and he's won two as well," Wawrinka said.

"But if you were to compare our two careers he's well ahead of me given all the titles, the finals, the fact that he's No2 in the world and has so many Masters 1000 titles."

Wawrinka's form in the last three years has been such that many observers believe the game's 'Big Four' Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal should become a 'Big Five'. However, Wawrinka has always disagreed.

"Andy's in the Big Four," he said. "There is a reason for this. Maybe he has fewer titles than the other three but he's always been with them in the semis, the finals. His career is very impressive."

Wawrinka is not surprised by the success Murray has had on clay.

"Even before, when he wasn't a claycourt player, he was making the semifinals here," Wawrinka said.

"He's been an amazing player for many years. He has always tried to improve his game, always tried to be a better player."

The world No4 thinks that being the defending champion has been to his advantage during the current tournament. "I think it gives me more confidence, for sure, and less pressure," he said. …

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