Stan Wawrinka exited the Monte Carlo Masters at the third round stage.
CNN  — 

Stan Wawrinka and his wife have separated after the Swiss star admitted the “challenges” of his professional career made it no longer possible for them to live as “a team and a family.”

This is the second time that Wawrinka and his wife Ilham, who have a daughter Alexia, have separated since marrying in 2009.

“We have enjoyed 10 fulfilling years, with all the ups and downs that every couple experiences, but sometimes life is more challenging than one would hope”, Wawrinka, who won the 2014 Australian Open, explained in a statement.

“Ilham and I were both blessed to create a family when our wonderful daughter Alexia was born in 2010. We have always tried to live our lives as a team and as a family, despite the challenges we have faced due to the demands of my career. To my great regret this isn’t possible anymore.

“Ilham will always be the mother of my daughter and a person that I have a lot of love and respect for. We will always remain as a family. Now my priority is to do everything to protect Alexia during these challenging times.

“I hope that the fans and the media will understand that I’ve always been very protective of my private life and wish to continue to do so not giving any further information about the situation.”

"The King of Clay" has racked up 46 singles title wins on his favored playing surface over the years -- only Guillermo Vilas, with 49, has a better record on clay.
Make way for the clay!
05:44 - Source: CNN

The separation may go some way to explaining Wawrinka’s form, which has been patchy in recent weeks with the failure to defend his title at last week’s Monte Carlo Masters his latest setback.

The 2014 Australian Open champion was beaten in two sets by Grigor Dimitrov in the third round and now faces slipping out of the world’s top 10 for the first time since May 2010.

Wawrinka and Ilham, a Swiss television presenter, were married in 2009 but he left the family home a year later in order to concentrate on his career.

After the birth of their daughter in 2010 they got back together a year later.

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