Story courtesy ATPWorldTour.com
Under sun-kissed skies, Stan Wawrinka has been practising hard for a shot at improving on his performances at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The Swiss star has gotten off to a strong start in 2017 and is hoping to carry the momentum into the desert.
“I’m still trying to work on my game every day and trying to improve, getting results every week,” said Wawrinka, ahead of the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the season.
“I’m happy with the first month, with semifinals in Brisbane and at the Australian Open. I was playing well, after a good off-season. I had some knee problems since then, so I couldn’t play well enough in Dubai, but I think it’s been going well on the practice courts. If I can keep that level the result will come.”
Wawrinka, who opens his campaign against Robin Haase or Paolo Lorenzi, reached the quarterfinals at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in 2008 (l. to Djokovic) and 2011 (l. to Federer).
With every member of the Big Four – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – performing well, the 31-year-old Wawrinka was hard-pressed to pinpoint a favorite to win the tournament, which features 44 of the Top 50 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
“It’s tough to really put one as a favorite, with Roger winning the first Grand Slam of the year, Rafa coming back, Novak not playing quite as good as the past few years and Andy winning the Dubai title. It’ll be interesting to see how the draw goes a little bit. For sure, if Novak can win a few matches, especially with his draw, he’s going to gain a lot of confidence from that.”
Play gets under way on Thursday, with 16 first-round matches from the top half of the draw.