Wawrinka wins Federer backing
Stan Wawrinka has been backed to climb back up the world rankings by fellow Swiss star Roger Federer ahead of their clash this week.
Federer has enjoyed his own renaissance in recent years, having recovered from injury issues and a loss of form to end a near five-year wait when he claimed an 18th Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open.
Federer then added another Wimbledon crown to his tally that year before defending his Melbourne title in 2018, while also returning to top spot in the world rankings for a spell.
Wawrinka's career has not been as illustrious as Federer's, but he has won three Grand Slams and reached a lofty number three in the world five years ago.
The 33-year-old has since dropped down to 40 because of a knee problem which has kept him out of the game for a spell and he is now looking to make the climb back to the top.
And, while Federer will be looking to end Wawrinka's hopes of success at Indian Wells when the pair meet on Tuesday, he is still wanting his friend to get his career back on track.
He said: "First of all very happy that Stan is back. He had more difficult knee surgery than I had, we both are happy that we still can play, expect a tough match against him.
"I think we will see a great Stan here, down the road, without a doubt, because I know what he can do. I think a lot of Stan. He's got all the different options how to win points. He's a fighter and a winner.
"I hope he's going to be in the top 20, top 10 again very soon."
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.