Stan Wawrinka turns 34 on Thursday, the kind of age when tennis players of generations past would have been long since retired, their rackets gathering dust. But advances in training methods, nutrition and racket technology, it seems mid-30s is almost the new mid-20s.
Six of the current men’s top 10 is aged 30 or more, the world No 1 Novak Djokovic will be 32 this year, No 2 Rafael Nadal is a year older and Roger Federer, who turns 38 in August, is still going strong.
As a Swiss growing up at the same time as Federer, Wawrinka’s early career progressed largely below the radar. But his time in Federer’s shadow allowed him to mature in his own time and that patience has been beneficial in the past two years as he has battled back from two significant knee operations, which cut him down in the middle of 2017, shortly after he had reached his second Roland Garros final.