Following the early exits of No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 3 seed Casper Ruud over the last few days, Stan Wawrinka kept the upsets coming at Indian Wells on Monday, battling past No. 7 seed Holger Rune in a third-round thriller in the desert, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5.

Wawrinka originally had a match point at 6-2, 5-3, 40-30, and also built leads of 4-0 and 5-2 in the second set tie-break—but he eventually finished the No. 8-ranked Rune off after two hours and 39 grueling minutes on court, getting the only break of the third set to go up 6-5 and then serving it out emphatically at love.

“Right now it feels good, but course the last 30 or 45 minutes was tough,” he said afterwards. “I had the match in control, I was playing well, I was putting a lot of pressure—I should have done the match way before. I started to be nervous. I started to hesitate a little. I completely lost the line of my game, and he came back in the match.

“He’s an amazing player, young player, but it’s special to keep winning. For me it was important to stay there mentally at the end, because I was playing well. I really enjoyed it. It was such a great atmosphere.”

It was also a big personal milestone for Wawrinka—it was the 550th tour-level win of his career. He’s the 41st man in the Open Era to reach that number, and the seventh active men’s player to do it.

1,068: Rafael Nadal
1,046: Novak Djokovic
725: Andy Murray [going for 726 later today]
595: Richard Gasquet
582: Marin Cilic
559: Fernando Verdasco
550: Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka returned to the Top 100 two weeks ago for the first time in over a year—he'll rise from No. 100 to the mid-80s by reaching the last 16 at Indian Wells.

Wawrinka returned to the Top 100 two weeks ago for the first time in over a year—he'll rise from No. 100 to the mid-80s by reaching the last 16 at Indian Wells.


Wawrinka—who had 36 winners to 33 unforced errors in the match, including 12 aces to just 1 double fault—was asked afterwards how he regrouped after the second set didn’t end up going his way.

“I was trying to stay calm with myself,” he said. “I lost to him already in Paris, it was match point—I also served for the match [against Alex Molcan] in Australia. So these few matches went away like that.

“But all my career, I knew there’s only one way—to keep fighting, to keep working, to keep pushing yourself, trying to stay positive. I started to talk less to myself, begin adjusting to the game and then, yeah, I got a little bit lucky in the end, and I’m super happy with the win.”

It’s been a long road back to his current form for Wawrinka. He had two foot surgeries and missed a year of action between March 2021 and March 2022—but two weeks ago he returned to the Top 100 for the first time in over a year, and just by reaching the fourth round of Indian Wells he’s going to rise from No. 100 to somewhere in the mid-80s.

The 2014 Australian Open, 2015 Roland Garros and 2016 US Open champion and former world No. 3 has some very strong feelings about continuing to play the game he loves, too.

“For me it’s been really special since I came back last year. I know I’m getting old and I know I’m getting close to the end of my career, but it’s an amazing atmosphere every tournament, and it’s really special to be back here after many years. It feels special for me.

"That’s one of the big reasons why I want to keep playing the game, it’s because I enjoy so much the emotion that I got from the fans.”

Awaiting Wawrinka in the fourth round will be No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner, who defeated Adrian Mannarino later in the day, 7-6 (7), 6-4. They’re 2-2 head-to-head, with Sinner winning their last two meetings—including a 6-1, 6-3 victory just a few weeks ago in Rotterdam.