Wawrinka walked out on family to save his tennis

05 January 2011 - 14:53 By Sapa-dpa

Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka quit his new family less than a year after the birth of his daughter, with Swiss media reporting that the ATP number 21 left home for a hotel room in late September.

Since the dramatic walkout, the one-time number eight won six of 10 matches to end 2010 and began 2011 this week with a first-round win in Chennai.

“I have separation from my wife Ilham Vuilloud. We want our role as parents (of daughter Alexia) to continue. We ask the press, our privacy be respected at this difficult time,” the Wawrinka management said in a statement.

The 25-year-old married former television presenter Ilham in December, 2009, with their child born last February.

“Stan returned on September 20 after the Davis Cup in Kazakhstan and told me he had new priorities. He packed his bags and moved into a hotel,” Wawrinka’s wife told tabloid the Blick.

The marital split came only a few months after the player parted with his longtime coach and childhood friend Dimitri Zavialoff, hiring Swiss Peter Lundgren, former mentor to Roger Federer.

Media report that Wawrinka feels he has only five more years to make an impact in tennis and is cutting out family distractions.

“There would have been another solution, if he had spoken to me about,” Ilham told Blick.

The Wawrinka drama is a contrast to the relationships of his good friend and compatriot Federer, who has been with wife Mirka for 10 years with the pair happily travelling the world — albeit on an elite VIP level — with their twin daughters born in July 2008.

Wawrinka appears determined to keep a lid on his personal problems, Tweeting: “I feel great and look forward to the season.”