Stan Wawrinka on comeback trail but loses to old foe Novak Djokovic in Rome

Djokovic comfortably wins 6-2, 6-2 in Italian Open third roundWawrinka in midst of long and arduous return from injuryThe last time Stan Wawrinka stood across the net from Novak Djokovic, his victory in their 2019 US Open quarter-final unlocked a notable achievement. While Djokovic had dominated their rivalry 15-2 since they were teenagers, they had split the previous eight matches equally. For that brief period, they not only stood on an equal record but most of Wawrinka’s victories had been under the greatest pressure, deep in the final rounds of his three career-defining grand slam title runs.Those days are long gone. Having already had knee surgery in 2017, 14 months ago Wawrinka underwent the first of two surgeries on his left foot and was out for a year. His comeback has been long and arduous since, but he took several steps forward by beating the world No 17 Reilly Opelka at the Italian Open this week, reaching the third round and setting up an unexpected meeting with Djokovic. Continue reading...