Confident Wawrinka Looks To Defend Roland Garros Crown – ATP World Tour

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Stan Wawrinka made it to Roland Garros on Saturday night, hours before the first day of play at the season’s second Grand Slam. It marks the latest Wawrinka has ever arrived at a Grand Slam during his 15-year career.

But the Swiss star said he still feels prepared to try and defend his Roland Garros title and go for his third Grand Slam championship. “For sure it’s late arriving for a Grand Slam, especially if you want to go far in a Grand Slam, but I think I’m feeling good. I’m feeling fit. My tennis is there, and I’m ready to play my first match tomorrow,” Wawrinka said on Sunday during his pre-tournament press conference.

The World No. 4 had good reason to arrive later than usual. Wawrinka prevailed against World No. 11 Marin Cilic in straight sets to win the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open on Saturday afternoon. It was the first time Wawrinka has won a title in his home Switzerland. The win also gave him his first clay-court crown of the season and ended a string of earlier exits on clay this year.

Wawrinka reached the quarter-finals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters before falling to Rafael Nadal in straight sets. At the Mutua Madrid Open, Wawrinka lost the first match he played, bowing out in the second round to Nick Kyrgios in straight sets. And in Rome, the two-time Grand Slam champion reached the third round before losing to then-World No. 114 Juan Monaco in three sets.

“It was good to win the trophy yesterday. It gives me a lot of confidence and happiness,” Wawrinka said.

Arriving just in time at a Grand Slam can be positive, too, he said. Since he was focused on Geneva, Wawrinka wasn’t thinking about Roland Garros days before the tournament started.

“It’s also quite good to arrive here a few days before to practise on the court and to get ready and everything,” Wawrinka said. “But since they put that tournament in Switzerland in Geneva close from my home the week before, I took the decision to play and to change a little bit the rest of the schedule, and last year it happened to be really good for me.”

Last year, Wawrinka lost in the quarter-finals in Geneva before claiming the Roland Garros title. He remains the last player to beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a Grand Slam.

“He’s still playing amazing tennis, if you look what happened this year already, and since last year in the final,” Wawrinka said of the Serb. “He’s for sure the big favorite, and he’s going to be really difficult to beat.”

Wawrinka will try to become the third player in the past 17 years to win back-to-back titles at Roland Garros (Nadal, Kuerten). On Monday, he opens his defence against Lukas Rosol, whom he beat in three sets last week in Geneva. Wawrinka also leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 4-0.

“He’s a dangerous player. He’s serving big. He’s going for his shots,” Wawrinka said of Rosol. “You never know what to expect, really. You need to be really solid and stay there.”

Confident Wawrinka Looks To Defend Roland Garros Crown – ATP World Tour