Wimbledon 2014: Stanislas Wawrinka gets testing run of five matches in seven days off to a comfortable start

The Australian Open champion saw off the challenge of Denis Istomin 6-3 6-3 6-4

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The Independent Online

A question for non-anoraks: who is the No 1 Swiss male tennis player?

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Roger Federer may be the obvious answer but the task was to name the current leading player rather than the the all-time greatest. Step forward Stanislas 'Stan' Wawrinka from Lausanne, son of a German father with Czech grandparents and of Polish descent, having had such a fine start to 2014 that he has superseded Federer, the older man and winner of 17 Grand Slam titles.

The first and only one of Wawrinka's did not come until January this year when he defeated both Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal to win the Australian Open. It was the first time anyone had beaten the top two seeds en route to winning a Grand Slam event for more than 20 years and earned him the world No 3 spot, one place ahead of the legend that is Federer.

This week both men have been caught up in the scheduling problems caused by Saturday's rain, with Federer having his fourth round match against Tommy Robredo held over until tomorrow, like all the bottom half of the draw, and Wawrinka involved in one of the two third round matches that did not even get on court until this morning..


That would mean facing three matches of up to five sets in successive days and five in seven days if he was to go all the way to Sunday's final - something considered unlikely given his patchy record on grass.

But he took the first step by defeating Uzbekistan's only representative at Wimbledon, Denis Istomin, easily enough 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 and will now meet either the heavy-serving American John Isner or Feliciano Lopez when they finally catch up with the rest tomorrow - weather permitting.