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Stanislas Wawrinka met the press after a two-hour training session with Novak Djokovic at Foro Italico this afternoon.
Here’s what he had to say. . .
You’ve won the Australian Open, then Montecarlo, but everyone here talks about Federer, Nadal and Djokovic
Wawrinka: I think it’s normal. Nadal is the big favourite, as usual, and Novak is coming back after a small injure so it’s normal. They’re the 3 big favourite for here and the French Open. For me there’s no problem: I’ve to practising well and get ready for the tournament, I know how is it. The first matches are always important but if I can play well I can do some damage.
Do you still feel clay is your best surface?
Wawrinka: In the past it was my best surface, that’s where I had all the result I won. Now it’s a little bit difference, you have to play on all court: hard court, clay court. I just think on the clay court there are less player I am afraid to play with, I have more control against the top guys.
What did you take from the tournament of last week in Madrid?
Wawrinka: Not much (laugh…). First round loss was not a great result, but I was happy with my attitude. I was not playing my best tennis, Dominique was playing really good tennis. I accepted it but I just tried to fight for all the match and that was the most important thing for me. I hope I can keep that for the rest of the year.
Do you have some extra motivation for this week?
Wawrinka: Maybe, for sur. After you loose first round you want to do better. Here it’s a great tournament on clay: I like the conditions, I know I can play well here. I’ve been practising since Thursday, I am happy with my level and I am confident with myself.
Do you think there are more injured player this season compared to the last two or three?
Wawrinka: I think at the beginning of the season there are more injures, and even still now it’s not easy. I don’t know why, the season is very long and if you don’t have a good schedule soon or later you’ll have injuries. That’s why I am not playing all the tournament, take some weeks off for practice and that’s why I am so strong this year.
The way you’ve been playing suggests that this could be one of the more unpredictable season heading to Paris?
Wawrinka: For myself yes, I know that when I am playing my best games I have good chance against them. For the others I don’t know. I think this is not because I won a Grand Slam or a Masters in Montecarlo. It’s not that easy. If you look at the result Rafa is there, will win Madrid, and let’s see who is going to win here. If you take the three guys, from me a way better than all the others and me, they still win everything. So it’s going to be an interesting season but I still think they are going to be there and win a lot of tournament.
Do you like Rome, do you like playing here?
Wawrinka: I like to play here, it’s great site to play. People cheer a lot for Italian players but it’s nice, even three years ago when I lost from Seppi there was a great atmosphere. I am really lucky to be here for a week or a little bit more.