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Wawrinka Ready for Singles Success; A Workout with David Ferrer; What Do Star Tennis Players Eat?; Dimitry Tursunov's Tour of Kuala Lumpur

Aired October 17, 2013 - 05:30:00   ET



PAT CASH, CNN HOST (voice-over): The sky is clearly the limit for Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss tennis star has returned to the top 10 and he's fight to keep his place among the game's elite.

This summer, he's celebrated his success with a high-flying adventure.


CASH (voice-over): He traveled 4,000 meters in the air and then took a 45-second freefall.

STAN WAWRINKA, TENNIS PRO: I don't have so much time to wait. But I did once this summer in Gstaad and it was really fun.

CASH (voice-over): Wawrinka grew up in Lucerne, the Swiss city on the shores of Lake Geneva. From a young age, Stan loved the outdoors.

WAWRINKA: I came from a farm; my grands had a farm. So I really enjoyed to work with my father in the farm, work with him and with a lot of animals, with some dogs, some horse and yes, it was quite fun.

CASH (voice-over): Soon he was on the tennis court. He won the French Open Junior title and eventually got the chance to practice with fellow countryman, Roger Federer.

WAWRINKA: I remember, I was 16 and he was practicing in the Swiss Federation and I won there for the first time practicing with him. He was already, I think 6th in the world. And after 10 years, I was completely wrecked, completely dead tired because I was so nervous to play with him.

CASH (voice-over): The pair became good friends and started playing Davis Cup for Switzerland. In 2008, the call came in: Roger Federer had chosen Wawrinka to be his Olympic doubles partner.

WAWRINKA: That day Roger lost to Blake and he was not in a good mood. It was not easy for him and inside, I was like, OK. Now I need to show him that he can trust me. And we were playing good and that's more inside the feeling that he was happy and inside, he was like, OK. Let's do something doubles now.

In that moment, we're both almost crying. So we start to talk a little bit together to make one joke. And then we were again laughing and we were just enjoying the moment.

I remember one moment around the podium and Roger take -- took mine. And I took his. And he was like, oh, you have a little problem here. And I was like, no way, come on. She's just new.

But no, it was great.

CASH (voice-over): Wawrinka is four years younger than Federer and he spent much of his career in the superstar's shadow. But at the U.S. Open this year, it was Stan who was the last Swiss standing and it was Roger who was cheering him on.

WAWRINKA: I think it was the first player up, he for me, when I did my first semifinal at the U.S. Open. I was texting a lot. We still are -- we are good friends since many years.

CASH (voice-over): Both Federer and Wawrinka are on track to close out the year in the top 10, which will be a first for Swiss tennis.

PAUL MCNAMEE, TENNIS ANALYST: Everyone's talking about London and who might end up number one in the world, Nadal, Djokovic. I'm more interested in who's going to end the number one Swiss player in the world.


CASH (voice-over): There's no doubt that Wawrinka wants to finish the year strong.

At the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, Stan the Man, one of the top draws.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone's wondering when Wawrinka's autograph session is . They want to meet him. They want to like -- it's a new player and a player of just (INAUDIBLE) to the top 10 again. It means a lot.

CASH (voice-over): I followed Stan's career for several years and jumped at the chance to join him on court.

CASH: Let me ask you about your year. I mean, it's been a great year for you. It started with a very close match in Australia with Djokovic, which was many people say the match of the year.

WAWRINKA: It was a really good match, about the level for me, to be. That's close from the number one player in the world in the Grand Slam. It was really good. It was a tough loss but I took a lot of positive from that match for sure.

CASH: Everybody talks about Stan Wawrinka's backhand. But you're not just a backhand. One of your favorite shots, you know, your strength.

WAWRINKA: I think it's from baseline for sure. My backhand is my strongest shot, I would say. But in general, I'm -- when I play good, that's -- mean I'm serving really well and I can put a lot of pressure from the forehand side and backhand side.

CASH: Maybe my only chance that this helps me.

WAWRINKA: I told him, it's easy for him to play against me.

CASH: Oh, my.

WAWRINKA: We will make him run a little bit.

CASH: That was a lucky shot. I don't think you can do that again.

WAWRINKA: Oh, I'm quite lucky.

CASH: I honestly don't know which was he's hitting the ball. I mean, I've played a few backhands in my time but I'm not sure whether it's going down the line or across -- oh, my goodness, cross court.

I've got him.

Oh! I didn't even see that, that was so fast.

Not bad. You'll be good when you grow up.


CASH: I think he won the backhand competition.

WAWRINKA: Thank you. That's nice.

CASH: Just. I think it was very close.

WAWRINKA: Yes, it's really close.



CASH: I'd love to try and get your serve back.

WAWRINKA: Want to start with a T, normal T.


WAWRINKA: Let's go Y.

And we finish with the body.

CASH: That was unbelievably fast, very accurate. Thanks, Stan. Thanks very much for showing me --

WAWRINKA: It was a pleasure.

CASH: -- how it's done with power and precision.





CASH: What are we going to do to start?

DAVID FERRER, TENNIS PRO: So we start running and around 9-10 kph.

CASH: Nine or 10 -- to start?

FERRER: To start, yes.

CASH: This is how I start.


CASH: OK. OK, let's go.


CASH: For me, this is a sprint.


CASH: I'm Usain Bolt.

This is maybe a warm-up for you? No?


CASH: If you have a day where you are not playing a match, how much would you run?

FERRER: Normally I run 15 minutes to warm up, 15 minutes of bike. I will do some exercises about run (INAUDIBLE) abdominals, contour my body and for finally stretching.

CASH: I was the fitness player in tennis, 25 years ago.


FERRER: It's very important for me to finish (ph).

One, two, three.

CASH: OK. Good.


CASH: Next?

FERRER: Next one.

OK, now, one leg.

You have to practice more.


CASH: Sitting one. This is the sitting one, no?

FERRER: This is exercise? No? Well, it's OK for to relax.


CASH (voice-over): OK. We're about halfway through and it's pretty clear who's tired and who isn't.

CASH: How many sit-ups would you do?

FERRER: Two hundred or 200.

CASH: Two hundred? Yes. Just 200, OK.



CASH: That 's probably more than I do in one month, 200 hundred sit- ups. All right, come on. I can -- I'm OK with sit-ups.

FERRER: Again, we lose that's normal. So that's.

CASH: Yes, whatever.


CASH: One hundred fifty, 151.

Thank you.

So it must have been fantastic for you to walk on the Centre Court at Roland Garros for the French Open final.

FERRER: Well, it was a very nice moment. It was my first (INAUDIBLE) indoor Roland Garros, when I saw a lot of Spanish players waiting there and it was a dream.

The most important for our players to win a Grand Slam, but you know, I am proud of my career.

CASH: Well, you had a very good year; you'll be in the ATP Finals as well again.

FERRER: Yes, again, fifth time.

CASH: Fifth time now?

FERRER: This one is going to be the fifth time.

CASH: Well, David, thank you very much for showing us your fitness routine. I know it's only a warm-up. It's not for me. And good luck this year and maybe next year, one step further, you'll win that Grand Slam.

FERRER: Thank you very much.

CASH (voice-over): As we got up to leave, David didn't miss a beat and returned to the treadmill.

And I decided a little more practice on the exercise ball was probably a good idea.

Well, I thought it was a good idea.



CASH: Well, I survived the David Ferrer workout -- just. But now it's time to head to the players' restaurant to get some food.


ERIC BUTORAC, TENNIS PRO: Not heavy on the sushi then. Spicy tuna.

CASH: Whoa, pizza.


CASH: Well, we have Eric Butorac here. He's a top doubles player. He's also part of the ATP Players Council.

So, Eric, thanks a lot. Tell me about the changes or the things that you have to do for the players these days, say compared to a few years ago.

BUTORAC: Roger, Rafa, Novak, these guys, Andy Murray, they raise the bar so high that fitness has become a huge part of the equation. And with that has diet has come along with it.

CASH: Well, back in my day, it was all about carbo loading. But it was all about pasta and now these days they're talking about gluten-free stuff. That seems to be the latest fad.

BUTORAC: I think Novak really made that popular when he really rose to the top and then now it's -- he had become gluten-free. And then it became -- I don't know if it's a fad, if it'll come and -- or if it's here to stay. But it's definitely a thing that it -- a high percentage of the guys on tour now are gluten-free or almost primarily gluten-free.

CASH: But at the end of the day, surely, you must -- players must settle down and have a couple of drinks with their coaches or whatever.

BUTORAC: I mean, I think that the top players, they've cut alcohol completely out of their diet. And the rest of the players, to stay competitive, have mostly followed suit. Maybe at the end of the week, there's a drink or two to be had. But for the most part, guys take their -- treat their bodies like a temple. And they take it very, very seriously.

CASH: So that made me wonder, you -- do any of the players travel with their own chefs to create their own food?

BUTORAC: I haven't seen actual chefs with players yet. I have seen nutritionists. You'd see these guys traveling with these teams now. They have a coach; they have a hitting partner. They have an agent. They have a physiotherapist and then he's often in charge of making sure you have the protein drinks right after the match, making sure you have the pre-match drink and also a specific diet that's probably been prearranged by a chef or a nutritionist.

We always hear stories about back in the day. It used to be like this. This is how it used to be, you know, how was it back in your day?

CASH: It wasn't -- it wasn't like that. It wasn't quite like -- I'm not as old as you think I am, by the way. But I heard stories of the old Aussies used to -- they used to play hard, they used to drink hard and they used to have meat and -- steak and potatoes. I mean, I asked Bjorn Borg. I said, what did you used to eat? And he said, every day I had a steak and I had potatoes. And I said, you've got to be kidding me. And but you know, I think things have changed a little bit more, but they'll still -- no, we're not quite as backward as you think we were.


CASH: Eric, thanks very much, mate, for taking us into the players' lounge and showing us around the cuisine that players eat.

Time to eat, I think.





CASH: Hey, give me a hug. Give a man a hug.

DIMITRY TURSUNOV, TENNIS PRO: So where are we going?

CASH: A little bit of sightseeing through K.O.

TURSUNOV: Let's do this.



CASH: Of course you're from Russia, but you moved to America. You're one of the very few people who've been on Centre Court at Wimbledon where 15,000 people were shouting against you (INAUDIBLE) win and won.

TURSUNOV: Yes, I was kind of shell-shocked.

CASH: That's a pretty good effort.

TURSUNOV: Yes, it was out of fear.

CASH (voice-over): Tursunov is an attacking baseliner with strong ground strokes on both sides. He's been ranked as high as number 20 in the world. And in 2006, he helped Russia win the Davis Cup.

If you look up his biography, his hobbies include romantic walks on the beach and annoying people. Trust me: Dimitry is one of the most candid players on tour.

CASH: Can you make a living out of this, though? I mean, because some of these expenses, I mean, what's your ranking at the moment?

TURSUNOV: Thirty-six.

CASH: Where do you break even as far as money is concerned?

TURSUNOV: If you want to compete well, if you want to make it into the top 50, there's no way you can do that without a coach. I mean, I've tried. Roger has done it for some time but he's still traveling with a physio and the guy who strings his racquets. And those are all expenses that you pay yourself.

So you pay a salary to your coach, then you pay for his travel expenses. You pay for your own travel expenses. You pay for his food and then so it adds up. I think now, just -- you know, if you're just traveling with a coach, you are probably going to hit $200,000 a year.

CASH: (INAUDIBLE). Well, there are some perks to traveling. Not a bad position here really, is it?

(INAUDIBLE) Kuala Lumpur. This is not the first time you've been here.

TURSUNOV: Well, I'm very happy that we're not playing outdoors.


TURSUNOV: It's pretty humid (ph), as you can tell right now. But it's nice. I mean, I think the tennis is not extremely huge in Malaysia but hopefully with us showing up here every year, hopefully it's going to get better and better.

China is just huge into tennis now. But you know, they have a lot of players doing really well now.

I've been coming to Asia for a few years now. And as my ranking moved up, it has allowed me to -- and I haven't had a single regret about coming here.

CASH: And just last question, how many frequent flyer miles do you have, do you know?

TURSUNOV: I have 1 million on Delta and I have 1 million on United.

CASH: A million?

TURSUNOV: To be honest, you can't really get much with miles other than tickets. So I can buy six or seven (INAUDIBLE) --


CASH: (INAUDIBLE) friends and family and your good mates.

TURSUNOV: Yes. Yes, yes.


TURSUNOV: This guy's trying to get in on this.