World No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka had a terrific 2013 and he is keen to start the coming year on a high at one of his favourite tours, Chennai Open, to be held here from December 30 to January 5.
The 28-year-old, who is visiting the city for the sixth consecutive year to vie for the crown at the 19th edition of the Aircel Chennai Open, wants to make another “strong appearance” here.
“Preparing for Chennai always has a relaxing feeling to it. I have great memories from 2011 and last year when I won the doubles title with my friend Benoit (Paire of France). I’m looking forward to being back and hope that I can make another strong appearance,” said Wawrinka.
Wawrinka said he was looking forward to stay in Chennai and enjoy his favourite chicken tikka masala, which he eats almost every day when he is in Chennai.
“People are very friendly in India. You always feel welcome and very well treated,” he said.
Wawrinka had a great year as he qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, giving a tough fight to leading players. He reached the semifinals of the season finale in his debut, even though he fell to winner Novak Djokovic.
Talking about the year gone by, he said, “If you look at my results at the Grand Slams in Melbourne, Paris and New York, 2013 was definitely an outstanding year. My matches against Novak in Melbourne and New York were two of the most spectacular encounters in 2013. They showed me how close I am to the top guys and that I have my chances against them.
“I’m proud of how I played those matches and even if I lost I learnt a lot.
“You always have to keep fighting, work hard every day and believe in your chances,” he added.
Full of confidence and hope, Wawrinka said while he respected players at the top, he felt he could give them a good fight.
“They are consistent. Rafa, Novak and Andy have all won at least one Grand Slam and played many finals, something that I’m still hoping to achieve one day. I’m confident going into 2014. Top players are extremely tough to beat and you need to play your best tennis. I’ve already beaten Novak and Andy so I know I can do it.
“Rafael has been the toughest opponent for me so far. However, if you work hard and keep fighting everything is possible,” he insisted.