Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka heads into the ATP season start within weeks at Chennai, India, convinced that his stellar 2013 season will provide a huge boost to his future form. The world No. 8 who joined Roger Federer for the first time last month at the year-end event in London credits a clay title in Portugal plus major grand slam matches against Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray with changing the face of his always-promising game.
Among his proudest achievements: beating Wimbledon winner Murray twice – in Monte Carlo and the US Open quarter-finals where the Scot was defending his title. That all came after winning just twice in 2012 against top 10 competition.
Wawrinka gives major credit to his Swedish coach Magnus Norman, whom he hired in 2013 and who has helped to polish his big game with its classic sweeping backhand. “I’ve been discussing a lot with my coach Magnus Norman this year. This year my confidence grew and I played well in big matches and performed very well against top 10 opponents,” Wawrinka told the Press Trust of India as he prepared for the new season at home near Lausanne.
“It all comes step by step and in New York and London I showed that I can do well against the very best on a big stage. The semi-final in New York, what a big success and I’m happy that I made my first appearance in a Grand Slam semi-final.”
Wawrinka lost twice in epics against Djokovic, at the Australian Open and in the New York semi-finals. “Of course you are disappointed after losing such matches, especially during the first few days after the match. But then you need to discuss the match with your coach, analyze it and see the positive stuff behind it. Those defeats make you stronger mentally and give you extra motivation to keep fighting, working hard and try again.
“I gained a lot of confidence from my great performance in Australia even if I finally lost that match against Novak. Winning another tournament in Oeiras (Portugal) was important and a huge confidence booster. I always knew that I could be back in the top ten if I keep working hard and I’m happy that I made it in 2013.”