ABU DHABI, December 31, 2015
Ahead of his first match at the 8th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, the tournament’s top-seed Stan Wawrinka spoke to the media on Thursday.
The 30-year-old from Switzerland was pretty satisfied with his last season, coming to the desert in good shape.
“During the off-season I was practicing in Switzerland. I did a lot of fitness and work out with my team. I think I had a pretty consistent year, finishing number four in the world for a second time in a row. I won one Grand Slam and a few tournaments, so I was quite happy with 2015. The biggest challenge will be to play the best tennis at every tournament. So far, only Novak (Djokovic) is able to do so more or less. My goal is to stay there in the ranking and to win tournaments. The good thing is that I know that I can win big tournaments. I can beat the top guys, which I hope I will be able to do again in 2016,” Wawrinka is looking forward to the new season but seems to be still surprised by his achievements in recent years.
“I clinched two Grand Slam titles in the last two years. This is still something incredible for me. Winning the French Open is still a big surprise for me. Something not normal. So it’s tough for me to put it as a goal to win another major, as I know how difficult it is. The challenge to do so is huge. I need the chance to grab another Grand Slam title and then I know that I can beat the top guys,” the 2015 Rolad Garros champion described and explained that his coach and former world number two Magnus Norman is playing a key role in his career.
“Magnus is a great guy. He used to be a great player with a lot of experience as a coach. I am very please with the things we have achieved together. He is helping me a lot with many good things. He is a positive coach, always calm and a hard worker.”
At the MWTC, he is going to face the winner of the match between Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic on Friday. “It’s a tough challenge for sure. These two are one of the best servers in the world and it’s difficult to break them, finding the right solution. It’s gonna be interesting to find the right way to beat them, in particular at the first match of the year,” the Swiss told and added:
“It’s great to be back in Abu Dhabi. It has always been a pleasure playing here. Conditions are great. Hopefully I can play well the next few days.”
An early end of his career seems does not seem to be in sight. “I hope I can play for many more years. I will always push myself to my top and we will see where I will be in a couple of years. Tennis has become very physical. It is not easy for younger players to stay at the top, as there are also the top 4 dominating the scene during the last years,” Wawrinka said and also had a short comment about being a teammate of Nick Kyrgios, as both played together for the Singapore Slammers at the IPTL:
“During the IPTL we were on the same team and things were ok,” he simply stated.