At this rate Stanislas Wawrinka might not be the Swiss No 2 for much longer.
The man forever in the shadow his compatriot, Roger Federer, secured his place in the last four of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals here last night thanks to his own victory over David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych’s defeat to Rafael Nadal.
Playing in the year-end championships for the first time, Wawrinka has looked at home among the game’s elite. The world No 8 showed commendable resolve in coming from behind to beat Ferrer 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 to claim his second victory of the week. For Ferrer, who returns home having lost all three of his round-robin matches, this has been a tournament too far at the end of a long and demanding season.
Wawrinka is just one place and 475 points behind Federer, who has never trailed his friend and fellow countryman in the rankings list. That gap could close further if Federer fails to beat Juan Martin del Potro here this afternoon in a match to decide who will qualify as runner-up to Novak Djokovic in Group B. In tomorrow’s semi-finals Federer or Del Potro will take on Nadal, while Wawrinka will face Novak Djokovic.
Berdych would have qualified instead of Wawrinka if he had beaten Nadal in tonight’s concluding match in Group A. The Czech’s hopes rose when he levelled the match by taking the second set in just 29 minutes, but at 3-4 in the decider he played a horrible game, dropping his serve with two double faults. Nadal went on to win 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.