Simply by being the second best Swiss tennis player for the last five years, Stanislas Wawrinka has regularly followed in the footsteps of Roger Federer. Now the 25 year-old has done it again by hiring Peter Lundgren as his coach.
Wawrinka’s form has been disappointing of late and he saw the need for change after exiting Wimbledon at the first round stage. Briefly a member of the world’s top ten more than two years ago, he has hit a plateau and after failing to register a place inside the top 20 since March, he parted with long-time coach Dimitri Zavialoff after the defeat to Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin at the All England Club.
Lundgren had been working as a leading coach for the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France with specific responsibility for the vastly promising Bulgarian 19 year-old Grigor Dimitrov whose transition from winning the Wimbledon and US Open junior titles two years ago to establishing himself in the ranks of the ATP World Tour has not been as spectacular as hoped.
Most certainly Lundgren would have been recommended to Wawrinka by Federer whom he guided to the world no.1 spot in 2004 and the first of the Swiss’ Wimbledon titles a year earlier. The pair have always remained on convivial terms.
Wawrinka approached the 45 year-old Swede, who apart his time with Federer has also worked with top ranked players Marcelo Rios and Marat Safin after firing Zavialoff, thus ending a relationship that began when the player was eight years old.
Lundgren, also a former British Davis Cup coach and highly paid employee of the Lawn Tennis Association, was enthusiastic about taking on a new challenge. "When I asked Stan what he wanted help with, he said he wants to return to the Top 10," said the Swede.
"It's what you want to hear as a coach. I'm going to try to get Stan to become more aggressive."
Wawrinka and Lundgren will begin working together next week in preparation for Toronto beginning August 7 which forms stop no.6 in the ATP World Tour’s Masters 1000 series. After making the final in the year-opening event at Chennai, Wawrinka’s only notable performance in 2010 was reaching the quarter finals in Rome although he also progressed to the last 16 at the French Open.
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