Stan Wawrinka is much more than his shorts.
The Swiss tennis pro’s clothing of choice garnered plenty of attention as he played his way to a French Open title last month, but now Wawrinka is playing for a different Grand Slam title and the headlines are more focused on his play rather than his clothing.
Wawrinka has exuded a quiet confidence at Wimbledon throughout the opening rounds and, slowly but surely, has become one of the top players in the sport. In fact, he is no longer a long shot.
Here’s what you need to know about the right-hander:
1. Wawrinka Defeated Novak Djokovic in the French Open Final in June 2015
It was the upset not many people saw coming. While some analysts and spectators may have predicted that the Swiss national anthem would be playing at the end of the French Open, there weren’t many in that group that could have, or would have, predicted it would be Wawrinka hoisting the trophy over his head.
But it happened. Wawrinka took down Novak Djokovic in four sets, becoming, at 30 years old, the oldest champion since Andrés Gómez 25 years ago. Wawrinka called the moment “the match of my life.”
The upset was particularly unexpected after many thought Djokovic was on the fast track to a Grand Slam in Grand Slams. But that kind of feat was more challenging than ever when Wawrinka was pulling out these kinds of tricks:
The victory was Wawrinka’s second major title. He won the Australian Open in 2014 as well.
2. He Requested & Was Granted a Formal Name Change from the ATP in 2014
Wawrinka was born the son of Wolfram and Isabelle in 1985 in Switzerland. His family has fled to the country during World War II, leaving Czechoslovakia after Germany had invaded. He also was born with a different name; Stanislas.
That changed in 2014.
In an effort to simply name cards, press conferences and, essentially, his entire professional life, Wawrinka requested and was granted a name change by the ATP. Stanislas became Stan. He competed for the first time under the new moniker during the French Open in 2014.
3. Wawrinka Announced His Separation From Ilham Vuilloud in April 2015
Wawrinka married Ilham Vuilloud, a Swiss television personality and former model, in December 2009. The pair welcomed their first child, a daughter, in 2010. The relationship, which was frequently plastered throughout the Swiss tabloids, was never easy though and, in 2011, the media began reporting that Wawrinka and Vuilloud separating.
According to reports Vuilloud had said that Wawrinka was leaving the relationship to focus more on tennis, with the clock winding down on his career. However, those reports proved untrue and the couple ultimately reconciled.
That changed earlier this year though when Wawrinka released a statement on Facebook announcing, an official, separation. The separation quickly turned nasty as Vuilloud responded with her own statement:
4. His Tattoos Have Sparked Discussion on the Tennis Circuit
For as much metaphorical ink as his shorts garnered during the French Open, Wawrinka’s tattoos created just as much buzz.
Wawrinka’s left forearem is covered in, literal, ink and decorated with an italic script that quotes Irish writer Samuel Beckett. The tattoo reads, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
He also has a second tattoo right arm that is his daughter’s name.
5. He Posed for ESPN’s ‘The Body Issue’
Wawrinka became the latest athlete to bare all, shedding those infamous shorts in a slightly more dramatic manner, in this summer’s ESPN The Magazine‘s, The Body Issue.
The Switzerland native posed for a handful of shots, some in full tennis swing, and joined Venus Williams and Tomas Berdych on the list of tennis stars featured in the famous issue. Wawrinka told ATP that the decision to pose in the spread was more about showcasing how far he has come rather than an attempt to become any sort of model:
My body is for my tennis, it’s for my sport. I’m not a model at all. I don’t work out to go to the beach, I work out to play well and to do well on the court.(Trainer Pierre Paganini and I have) been working together for more than 10 years. He’s always involved in my decisions, my schedule, my preparation. Even if the conditions during the final were very hot, I was able to maintain my level and play a great match without important ups and downs.