World No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka defeated Juan Martin del Potro in four sets at the U.S. Open Wednesday night.
In doing so, the 31-year-old Swiss player advanced to the U.S. Open semifinals for the second-straight year. He will play sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori, who knocked off Andy Murray in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
After a marathon match against one of tennis’ most skilled players that went past 1am ET, Wawrinka was asked a blunt first question in his press conference: what’s the point?
A reporter asked Wawrinka what motivates him, given that he’s made a lot of money and has had a successful career, but is far behind the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Wawrinka had a classic response (via Sports Illustrated’s Kenny Ducey).
“So what should I do?” Wawrinka said. “I’m 31 years old. What do you want me to do? Just go to the beach? Not do anything? I don’t know. Did you ask that question to Rafa [Nadal] also or to Andy [Murray]?
“I think I love my sport. I enjoy to play tennis. It’s my passion. I start[ed] when I was really young. I have the chance to play in front of amazing crowd playing amazing match like tonight. If you just look [at] the match tonight, you have the answer. It’s [an] amazing feeling to be out there.”
Wawrinka, who’s won two majors during his career, may not have the overall success of some of tennis’ top players, but it’s unreasonable to think he would give up simply because of the top-heavy nature of the sport.
This is Wawrinka’s third trip to the US Open semis in four years. With a shot at a third major still in reach, it hardly seems difficult to find the motivation to keep going.
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