Stan Wawrinka entered the Citi Open hoping to find his form on hard courts ahead of this year's US Open. He had been doing everything he could to get healthy in recent months, and was thinking that this could maybe be the event where he puts it all together and shows why he is a three-time Grand Slam champion.
Unfortunately for him, Donald Young had different plans on Tuesday. The American was ready to show that he had what it takes to beat Wawrinka for the second time in his career—he won 7-6 (7), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) when the two met in the round of 64 at the 2011 US Open—and he did just that, coming away with a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3) victory.
WATCH—Young's post-match interview after beating Wawrinka:
While Young deserves a lot of credit for how he played in the match, this really came down to Wawrinka struggling to find the gear that made him one of the best players in the world as recently as last year. The 33-year-old still isn't moving as well as he did before injuries took their toll on his knees, and he is badly missing shots that he used to put away in his sleep. A lot of his struggles are physical, but the Swiss isn't mentally right either.
Wawrinka's confidence was always one of the things that gave him an edge over his opponents on any given night, and he's going to need to believe in himself again fast. The Open is just a few weeks away, and the 2016 champion is not going to want to head home early there. He has a lot of work to do if he's going to avoid that fate, and he's running out of time to do it.
Wawrinka is set to play in the qualifying draw at the Rogers Cup in Toronto next week. The expectation was that he was going to receive a wild card into the event, but that was not the case. Meanwhile, Young is into the second round in D.C. The 29-year-old is hoping to continue making some noise, and this win should give him some momentum moving forward.
ATP & WTA Washington D.C.
Catch all the action from the Citi Open with live coverage from three courts on Tennis Channel Plus beginning Monday, July 30th at 2:00 PM ET. All matches also available on-demand.