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Stan Wawrinka's vintage clincher for Switzerland among Davis Cup qualifying highlights
The 37-year-old rolled back the years to lead his country to a 3-2 comeback win against Germany.
Published Feb 05, 2023
WATCH: Stan Wawrinka also represented Switzerland in January at the United Cup, where he served as playing captain.
Stan's still the man. Stan Wawrinka beat Daniel Altmaier in a winner-take-all fifth and final rubber to send 2014 Davis Cup champions Switzerland back to the Davis Cup Finals.
Competing in his first Davis Cup tie in eight years, Wawrinka lost Saturday in Trier to Alexander Zverev, 6-4, 6-1, putting the two sides even at 1-1 after the first day of play. (Marc-Andrea Huesler came from a set down to beat Oscar Otte in the first rubber.) He opened Sunday's play with a loss, too; he and 21-year-old Dominic Stricker were beaten by Andeas Mies and Tim Puetz despite winning the first set, and the visitors were soon behind 2-1.
But after Huesler kept the tie alive with a win against Zverev, Wawrinka had a last chance to shine in the tie—and, at 37, perhaps one of the final times to don Swiss colors at all. Deliver he did: With a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory, he booked Switzerland's place in September's group stage.
"I'm happy I won one point and the last one was the most important," Wawrinka said in victory, as per the Davis Cup website. "We have a great team. They've been building this team for the last few years. I was happy to come back if they need me to help. I'm the oldest by far, but we had a great week. We were really helping each other; it was a great week for us."
Switzerland wasn't the only team to pull off a scintillating comeback over the course of the weekend. South Korea came from 2-0 down, winning all three rubbers on Sunday, to topple Belgium 3-2, and France survived upset-minded Hungary thanks to singles wins for Adrian Mannarino and Ugo Humbert; the visiting Hungarians owned a 2-1 lead after the unheralded pair of Fabian Marozsan and Mate Valkusz upset Nicolas Mahut and Arthur Rinderknech in the doubles rubber.
France, South Korea and Switzerland will be joined in the next stage by the U.S., who eased to a 4-0 sweep over Uzbekistan in Tashkent; Sweden, whose 3-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina was led by the Ymer brothers, Elias and Mikael; Serbia, who, without Novak Djokovic, swept a Casper Ruud-less Norway, 4-0; and Great Britain, who recovered to beat Colombia on clay 3-1 after Daniel Evans was upset by Nicolas Mejia in the first rubber.