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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday August 16, 2022

He’s 37, and coming off of two surgeries to his left foot, and 3-8 on the season with a four-match losing streak. But something burns within the heart of three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. He wants to find his best tennis so that he can finish his career on Stanimal terms.

Tennis Express

On Monday at the Western and Southern Open, he was outplayed by Andy Murray, falling to his fellow legend 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-5, and afterwards Wawrinka continued to trot out a familiar sentiment: He’s not where he wants to be, but he’s not far off.

“Of course it's always special to play against Andy. Always difficult to lose a tight match like that,” he said, adding: “I think could do much better. I think I'm on the right track. I'm playing much better. In practice my level is there. I just need to find the confidence, and for that I need to win matches, I need to get more games, I need to feel a bit more free when I'm playing in matches.”

Wawrinka says that he’s plagued by hesitation at the moment.

“I'm thinking way too much what I'm doing,” he said. “I have a lot of hesitation with my game, and that's what's missing today.”

That said, the Swiss, ranked 306 at the moment, says he feels he is headed in the right direction. Never mind that the clock is also an enemy at this juncture of his career. He’s an athlete on a mission, and he intends to see his comeback through.

“I know I'm on the right direction,” he said. “I'm feeling much better physically, and tennis-wise, the work I have done since Bastad (where he lost to Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets), I did a big preparation.

“I know I'm going to get there. I need, like I said, confidence in myself and what I'm doing. It takes maybe a bit more time when you get older, because you know exactly which impact can play any part on the game, so you are thinking maybe twice before playing. But it's okay. I will keep working out and get there soon.”