• May the best ‘a___e’ win

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    ROMY P. MARIÑAS

    Roger Federer is an “a_____e.”

    We didn’t say that, Stanislas “Stan” Wawrinka did.

    The Swiss No. 2 tennis player was tearing up as he began to deliver his speech during the awarding ceremony on Monday (local time) as runner-up in men’s singles in the 2017 Indian Wells tournament in the California desert.

    It was an underhanded compliment, we would like to think, rather than a derogatory jab at Federer, who, to this corner is one of the greatest tennis players of all time.

    Wawrinka, apparently, was incredulous at his countrymen, actually Switzerland’s No. 1, winning yet again a Tier 1 ATP event in straight sets, and this one against him, and not that he had not beaten his fellow Swiss in bigger tournaments, the Big 4 included.

    Give Roger some respect, Stan.

    Less than two weeks ago, Federer (unexpectedly to those rooting for Djokovic or Murray) won this year’s Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2017, despite being seeded a lowly 17th, and beating Rafael Nadal.

    At Indian Wells, the Swiss great’s seemingly peerless backhand was back, he got the balls early and often attacked the net (a tactic that he had been criticized for last year but worked in his favor against Wawrinka last Monday).

    As he received his trophy for winning Indian Wells for the fifth time, the former world No. 1 said he hopes his body will hold up and possibly win more titles and not necessarily only at the desert tournament.

    Wawrinka spoke of being tired, an unfortunate statement for him to say in his speech for it would be taken to mean as one coming from a sour loser.

    Well, he was quite right in seemingly telling tennis fans that his opponent in California has had a very long rest.

    Until last month’s Australian Open, Federer had not played in six months, and his last Grand Slam title came in 2012.

    Well, again, he had suffered from a number of injuries and time away from the tennis courts, he must have thought, should be put to good use– and so he must have sought medical treatment for aching muscles and creaking bones.

    What could be possibly wrong with that?

    Nothing, in our opinion.

    Our unsolicited advice to Wawrinka is that, if he is tired, he should follow Federer’s lead.

    And, perhaps, emerge as the better “a_____e” from it.

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