Stan Wawrinka engaged in a lighthearted social media exchange with Novak Djokovic as their home countries clashed in the World Cup.
Djokovic teased Swiss players and two of his great rivals Roger Federer and Wawrinka, asking if they were ready for the big game ahead through an Instagram story. The Serb accompanied his post with an art card of the then-upcoming match.
Wawrinka gamely replied:
Wawrinka and Federer turned out to have the last laugh as Switzerland eventually won 3-2 and booked their spot in the Round of 16, where they will face Portugal.
Switzerland, which finished second in Group G to advance to the knockout round, had to thwart Serbia’s threat in the first half. Xherdan Shaqiri put Federer and Wawrinka’s home nation in the lead before Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic turned the tide in favor of Djokovic‘s home country Serbia.
The celebrations, however, were shortlived as Breel Embolo drilled in the equalizer for the Swiss side just before halftime. Four minutes into the second half, Remo Freuler scored to put Switzerland in the lead once again, one the Swiss side would protect till the end.
On his Instagram stories, Wawrinka posted a video of himself doing the finishing touches to a Swiss flag painted on the hair of health and performance specialist Dario Novak, who is from Croatia.
He also tagged Swede coach Magnus Norman, who guided him to three Grand Slam titles and with whom he reunited last September, in a separate photo.
Stan Wawrinka may have a losing 6-20 record against the 21-time Grand Slam champion but their rivalry is not to be overlooked.
The Swiss and the Serb had their toughest battles in the Majors. They crossed paths on the big stages eight times, four of which went the distance.
Wawrinka had to pass through Djokovic to win his three Grand Slam titles. He prevailed over the Serb in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Australian Open en route to claiming his first Major crown, then scored two more victories in the finals of the 2015 Roland Garros and 2016 US Open to complete his Slam haul.
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