Stanislas Wawrinka walked the tightrope of balancing political correctness with candour in a media interaction — packed with queries ranging from the trite to the pertinent — after the draw ceremony of the Aircel Chennai Open at the SDAT-Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium on Saturday.

First, there was the staple poser seeking his thoughts on the tournament. Wawrinka's response was well-articulated: “Chennai is a wonderful place to come back to. It is a great tournament and offers good preparation at the start of the year.

“Last year I was playing some of my best tennis and I hope I can start well this season and we'll see how it goes this week”.

Stiff competition

The reigning champion admitted he would encounter stiff competition in his quest for an encore. “It is never easy to come back after a month off. I have seen the draw here and I would like to focus on my game to win the first match and then take match after match.”

With the Olympics and Davis Cup scheduled for later in the year, Wawrinka is keen to be “in a better place”.

“It's going to be long and tough year. That is why it is important to make your schedule work.

“I can be in better place in the ranking and try to get back in the top ten. As I said before this is the Olympic year and it is important for me to play well for Switzerland.”

Remarkable Roger

The 26-year-old was also full of praise for compatriot Roger Federer. “When I was about 18 or 19 [years of age], Roger was world number one. He is such a great player. You can always learn from him.”

Wawrinka, ranked 17th in the world, felt the influx of talented youngsters in the ATP tour was a healthy sign for the game.

“That is the beauty of tennis as the Number 50 [ranked player] can beat the Number two and Number 20 can beat the Number one.

“Since you find young players coming up always in tournaments after tournaments, it is going to be same this year or even more. I think you can see some big surprises this year in the ATP Circuit.”

Currently without a coach, Wawrinka is on the lookout for “someone different.” “I need a coach who gives me a different approach to the game.”

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