"So he can obviously hit a lot of different shots. He has a lot of variety in his game. Sometimes it takes time to know how to use that properly. He's starting to do that now."
Wawrinka looking Oz good as he has in a while
The Stan Wawrinka reincarnation started well over a year ago. Life among the inner sanctum of the tennis world has become fruitful, so much so that we even hinted at the crumbling of the Big Four.
Sacrilege, we know, but how can you argue when the guy was busy winning tournaments in Monte Carlo and that little one in Melbourne, Australia?
Wawrinka had it all going on -- and then the French Open happened. Against Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Wawrinka was sent back to Switzerland after only four sets of play. All the aspirations and expectations gone before the first day had expired.
In tennis parlance, we call this a reality check, which is why we weren't ready to fete him anytime too soon here in London.
But here we are again. With a swift 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Denis Istomin on Monday, Wawrinka quietly finds himself in the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2009.
That's the good news. The bad is that because this match was scheduled to be played Saturday (rain, anyone?), the fifth-seeded Swiss would have to play five matches in seven days if he wants to replicate his Aussie Open title.
Certainly, the congested schedule could be an issue moving forward. Though Wawrinka's coach, Magnus Norman, thinks it may be a little more than an issue.
"It's not really human, but we're not complaining," he said. "We know what we have to do, and we'll just try to focus on one point at a time and one match at a time."
And if Wawrinka is lucky enough to escape that one ... Roger Federer could wait.
Cilic makes his return known
A year ago, Marin Cilic pulled out of Wimbledon with a knee injury. Or so we thought.
Turns out he was suspended because he failed a drug test.
The ruse didn't fool anyone. The overwhelming consensus was that his withdrawal was part of a doping cover-up, which was later confirmed when the International Tennis Federation announced Cilic had voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension.
But that was then. These days, Cilic is busy clocking 33 aces and 59 winners against his feeble Wimbledon foes. It just so happens those were his exact stats in a 7-6 (8), 6-4, 6-4 win against Jeremy Chardy on Monday.
Cilic, who has an ideal grass game, is on to the quarterfinals here for the first time.
Long match, quick work
The total match time took 3 hours, 13 minutes. But when Kei Nishikori returned to the court after his rain-suspended match from Saturday, he needed only four games to finish Simone Bolleli 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
At one time, Nishikori was hailed as one of the next great up-and-comers, but injuries, including a bothersome back just prior to the French Open, have derailed a good part of his career. But before the start of the grass-court season, Nishikori declared he was healthy and ready to give the grass a go.
He reached the Halle semifinals before running into a certain 17-time Grand Slam winner, and now Nishikori is on to the fourth round at the All England Club for the first time ever.